Beginning October 7, Guests who are 12 and older and are visiting Universal Studios Hollywood must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before they are able to enter the theme park. That requirement was put in place when Los Angeles County passed an ordinance requiring all large-scale venues to do the same.
The vaccination requirement comes on the heels of Universal Studios Hollywood also changing its mask policy. On September 23, Universal said that it would immediately begin requiring all Guests to wear face masks at all times, except while eating and drinking in designated areas, regardless of vaccination status.
Here is what Universal Hollywood’s website currently says about its health and safety policies:
Per LA County’s Public Health order, beginning October 7, all persons ages 12+ must be prepared to show proof of full FDA or WHO approved COVID-19 vaccination (a full 14 days after final dose was administered), or a negative test taken within 72 hours of visit, prior to entry to the theme park. Persons ages 18+ must also show photo ID. Verification will take place when required based on theme park attendance. Children under the age of 12 are not required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result. Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required to be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors, when visiting the theme park. At Universal CityWalk, face coverings are required to be worn indoors.
So, if Guests will need to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID test, are the mask mandates that are in place going to be necessary anymore? Los Angeles County Health Department is seemingly going to decide on that issue sometime in the near future.
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that, for the first time, LA County public health officials had a substantial conversation about whether or not they will keep the mask mandate in place if vaccine requirements are the norm. Per Deadline:
“With lower transmission and with more people vaccinated we are hopeful that we will be able to lift the mask mandate in settings where there is a large gathering and we know people are vaccinated,” said County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer. She quickly qualified that statement by saying it assumes Covid numbers continue to fall and that there is no new, more powerful variant of the virus.
“When we introduced the mask mandate in June,” she continued, “it was related to a higher rate of transmission.” Logically, said Ferrer, a corresponding fall in rates should prompt consideration of the lifting of that mandate. “I do see that lower transmission and more people vaccinated, we’re going to be in a different space.”
It is important to remember that Universal has not commented on the future of its mask policy. Since children under 12 will not have to provide a negative COVID test, and they cannot be vaccinated at this time, it is possible that the theme park may decide to keep the mandate in place for the foreseeable future as a way to keep Guests as safe as possible.
Do you think Universal should get rid of its mask mandates once its starts requiring proof of vaccination? Let us know in the comments!
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