If you have been to Walt Disney World during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you likely have experienced the various operational changes that have been implemented to keep both Guests and Cast Members safe during their visit to the Resort.
As some rules are being loosed in accordance with updated guidance from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health, some Cast Members are having their face covering requirements relaxed.
At Disney World, mask wear is mandatory unless stationary and actively eating, drinking, or taking an outdoor photo, Guests must be socially distant and stand on floor markings in attraction queues, capacity has been reduced to 35%, and Disney Park Passes are required to enter the parks. and hand sanitizer is available now more than ever.
Recently, Disney World has relaxed some of its pandemic-based operations such as temperature screenings. As of May 16, temperature screenings will be phased out of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as Disney Springs and any other Disney World on property location. Now, it seems some Cast Members will be able to slightly relax their face cover rules.
Originally, Cast Members were required to wear a face shield as well as their mask if their job required them to be closer than 6 ft from Guests. Now, some of those Cast Members will no longer need to use the face shield.
Reporter Scott Gustin noted in a series of Tweets:
In addition to ending temperature screenings for Cast Members, also effective today: WDW has modified a policy that will now make face shields and safety glasses *optional* (and no longer required) for some Cast Members working in many outdoor roles.
The change does not apply to CMs working in food/beverage or any other location where guests are not wearing masks.
It also does not apply to indoor roles where face shields/glasses are worn or when a CM outdoors is within 3 feet of another CM or a guest for 15+ mins.
Before today’s change, many CMs working outdoors were required to wear a face shield if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance.
Before today's change, many CMs working outdoors were required to wear a face shield if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance.
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 9, 2021
Disney World Cast Members and Guests are still required to wear face coverings. This updated guidance is only for face shields that are worn for certain Cast Members in addition to a face mask.
Recently, the CDC announced that social distancing could be reduced to 3 ft in certain circumstances, and Florida Governor DeSantis is removing all COVID-19 measures, which would allow Disney to open to full capacity (as they previously could) without mask wear.
Disney is a private company so these decisions are up to Disney World to make. At the moment Disney announced they were not changing their operations, however, in the future things can definitely change. We have seen Universal Orlando Resort move to a 3 ft social distancing rule, we will have to wait and see if Disney will move to 3 ft of social distancing in the near future.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek said in February that theme park pandemic restrictions such as capacity limitations at the theme parks will change when vaccines become more widely distributed. Additionally, the CEO said before that he hopes other health and safety rules like social distancing and face masks to be phased out by 2022.
For all the current rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 safety, take a look here.
What do you think of the new Cast Member face covering requirement change?