Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently lifted all restrictions throughout the state that had been in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did the governor lift restrictions, but he also stated that he will sign an executive order, so individual counties cannot have their own COVID-19 mandates beginning July 1. That will mean an end to mask mandates and social distancing guidelines throughout the state.
“What I’m going to do is sign the bill, it’s effective July 1,” DeSantis said at the bill signing Monday in St. Petersburg. “I will also sign an executive order pursuant to that bill invalidating all remaining local emergency COVID orders effective on July 1. But then to bridge the gap between then and now, I am going to suspend, under my executive power, the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID. I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do.”
While mask mandates may end for those who live in and are visiting the Sunshine State, they will not end for those who are traveling there through Orlando International Airport. The airport is the main hub for the thousands of out-of-state travelers who visit the Walt Disney World Resort every year.
In response to Governor DeSantis’ mandate, the Orlando airport issued a statement:
The federal mask mandate requiring the traveling public to wear face masks or coverings at Orlando International Airport remains in effect. The mandate, which went into effect in February, applies to all modes of federally-regulated public transportation including airports, at security checkpoints and while traveling on commercial flights.
As the country continues to battle the ongoing public health crisis, the mask mandate was originally set to expire on May 11 but was extended through Sept.13, according to updated guidance issued by the Transportation Security Administration last week.
Not only will Guests have to continue to wear masks at Orlando International Airport, but they will also have to continue to wear them on Disney World property.
We are aware of the state of Florida’s plans to modify COVID-19 guidelines. We will evaluate this latest guidance and maintain our current health and safety measures at this time, including face covering requirements. We will continue to make thoughtful adjustments to our policy. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, we encourage people to get vaccinated.
While the airport may be located in the state of Florida, it is considered federal property, and therefore subject to federal guidelines. As of right now, there is no indication that the federal government will end the mask mandate on its properties before the September 13 date.
Will you feel safe traveling in Florida if there is no mask mandate? Let us know in the comments!