On June 15, the State of California officially “reopened” — meaning that it dropped most of its pandemic-era restrictions, including mandatory masks, social distancing, and capacity limits for businesses.
On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference at Universal Studios Hollywood to talk with reporters about how California will operate now that residents can freely walk around maskless. One member of the press asked how California would be able to monitor who is vaccinated and who isn’t, since it is recommended for businesses — like theme parks — to allow vaccinated people to not wear masks but recommend for unvaccinated people to wear them.
“It’s self-attestation. It’s a bit of the honor system. We’re still encouraging people that are unvaccinated to still be mindful of others, mixing social distancing as well as the importance of wearing face coverings, particularly in large events. If you’ve been vaccinated, we are aligning with the CDC guidelines. But the bottom line, at the end of the day, is we trust people to do the right thing and to be honest in terms of their self-attestation.”
Governor Newsom also reinforced that the state would not be requiring vaccine passports. When it comes to enforcing masks, private businesses are allowed to do what they think is best for their businesses, staff, and patrons.
“We’re not requiring passports in the state of California. We’re not requiring or mandating, but we are encouraging people, private business to do what they think is best for them.”
Some of the biggest businesses affected by the state’s reopening are theme parks like Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. Both theme parks announced that upon reopening, visiting Guests would not be required to wear masks if they were fully vaccinated. Disneyland Resort’s website currently reads:
The State of California strongly recommends that all Guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort. Unvaccinated Guests must wear face coverings when indoors. If planning to travel, please check and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and any State travel advisories. Do not travel to or enter Disneyland Resort unless you are free of any COVID-19 symptoms and otherwise comply with the requirements of such advisories and restrictions.
Universal Studios Hollywood has a similar policy in place for Guests visiting their theme park as well. The Universal Studios Hollywood website makes the following statement:
The State of California strongly recommends that when you visit Universal Studios Hollywood you be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to visiting, or wear a face covering. Guests who are not fully vaccinated should wear a face covering during their visit. We encourage all guests to wear face coverings indoors. Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.
Both Disneyland and Universal Studios will follow California’s path in simply relying on Guests being honest about their vaccination status. This honesty becomes particularly important as both theme parks gradually begin to increase their capacities now that they are technically allowed to operate at full capacity. However, Guests will not be asked to prove whether or not they are vaccinated in order to enter or go maskless in the theme parks.
Universal Hollywood and Disneyland Resort have not announced when they expect to be at full capacity once more.
Do you like that Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood are not requiring vaccine passports? Let us know in the comments!
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