Mask Mandate on Disney Transportation to Be Extended

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney World

Credit: Disney

Disney Parks have seen a lot of changes and regulations introduced since their phased reopenings during the pandemic.

From plexiglass separators to social distancing markers, Guest experiences at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort have been altered for the health and safety of Guests and Cast Members.

Now, it seems one of these regulations will be staying longer than planned, due to the new Omicron strain of COVID-19.

A passenger bus that is parked on the side of a road and monorail
Credit: The Goofy Guy

Today, the Biden administration confirmed that the nation’s transportation face mask mandate — which includes modes of transit like airplanes, trains, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort buses, ferries, Monorail trains, and Skyliner gondolas — will be extended until at least March 18, 2022.

The previous federal mandate requiring face coverings on all transportation was set to expire on January 18, 2022.

Throughout the pandemic, Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have all abided by federal mask requirements and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) face mask guidelines.

Cast Member Mask
Credit: Disney

The recent strain Omicron has now blocked travel into the United States from African countries. As CNN reports:

Major travel destinations including the European Union, Japan, Australia, the United States and Canada have moved to block flights from African countries following the discovery of the Omicron variant, echoing previous emergency responses that triggered a global freeze on travel.
This new travel ban evidently affects travel plans for many to Walt Disney World, Disneyland in California, and many of the other international Disney Parks around the world. Travel restrictions were lifted on November 8 for certain international countries such as the U.K., Brazil, China, and those in Europe.
disneyland face masks
Credit: Official Disneyland Instagram

As well as extending the mask mandate, The White House is once again tightening travel rules to and within the United States, requiring all in-bound international passengers to test for COVID-19 within 24 hours of departure.

The changes were announced as part of the reaction to the Omicron strain, as the world enters the third year of the pandemic. The U.S. confirmed its first case of the variant this week in Northern California.

The stricter pre-departure testing protocols will apply to all inbound international travelers regardless of vaccination status and will begin as early as next week.

american airlines plane silhouette
Credit: American Airlines

Previously, the U.S. required proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure, though this was tightened to only vaccinated travelers last month. Unvaccinated travelers had to have a negative COVID test within one day of departure.

Fines for the mask mandate will start at $500, and go up to $3,000 for repeat offenders.

A senior administration official told CNBC:

“Our doctors believe tightening testing requirements for pre-departure will help catch more cases, potential cases of people who may be positive and inside the country. And so now is the right time to do it. And we can implement it very quickly.”

disney world face mask
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

COVID cases and positivity rates are currently dropping in both Florida and California, with both theme park Resorts now allowing Guests to remove their masks while outdoors, but while inside, they must keep them on at all times unless actively eating or drinking.

Visit the official Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort websites for the most up-to-date information regarding face mask regulations.

What do you think about the mask mandate being extended?

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