With the recent CDC announcement that masks are no longer needed both indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people, many have been wondering how that affects private businesses like theme parks and stores. And we now have at least one answer to how Florida is handling the news: Universal Orlando Resort just announced that Guests are no longer required to wear masks outside.
The mandate will go into effect Saturday, May 15. The announcement comes following Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’s announcement about the state of vaccinations in Florida. Demings shared that 50% of the Florida population has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which was the level needed to ease up on mask mandates. Now, Orange County, FL (where Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are located) no longer has an outdoor face mask mandate in effect.
JUST IN: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says 50% of the county's population, ages 16 and older, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The threshold was needed to enter Phase 2 of the county's plan to ease its face mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/uSR8xNs2tg
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) May 14, 2021
The official Universal Orlando website has already updated its guidelines to reflect the new mandate. While face coverings are no longer needed outdoors, the website states they are still required for indoor locations like restaurants or shops, as well as any attractions and queues. Guests also must still provide their own face coverings and continue to practice social distancing.
Whatever way you look at it, this news is a big step for Florida theme parks getting back to normal and it indicates that we may be well on our way to seeing things become more relaxed by the summer and fall.
Earlier this week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared that Disney World had already increased the park’s Guest capacity, allowing more visitors to book their vacations. It remains to be seen whether Disney will follow Universal’s lead and change their mask mandates, at least when it comes to wearing masks outside. (Currently, at Disney World, face coverings are still required except when taking photos or eating with appropriate social distancing.)
What do you think about Universal’s new rules?