As COVID cases continue to increase, with many COVID cases being the Omicron variant, theme parks are back to struggling in terms of staying open while staying safe. Disney Parks and Universal Orlando have both consistently had to contend with the COVID virus as they try to give guests positive experiences in a pandemic, and apparently Universal Orlando Resort has opted to return to a full facial covering requirement again for its face mask policy. The news was shared on Twitter earlier today in the Tweet below.
Update from Universal Orlando Resort pic.twitter.com/Kr14xkBh0c
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) December 22, 2021
According to the update from Universal Orlando, face coverings will be required starting on December 24. The face mask requirement will be applicable “at all public indoor locations within Universal Orlando Resort for both guests and team members regardless of vaccination status–including restaurants, shops, and indoor hotel public areas”. Masks will also be “required at all attractions from the moment guests enter the queue to when they exit the experience.” Guests will be expected to provide their own face covering, and it the mask policy will apparently be consistent whether or not guests are vaccinated.
COVID-19 has also affected Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Lines, and–most recently–Disney on Broadway. Both the Aladdin musical production and the Frozen touring production had to cancel shows this week due to positive cases within their respective companies. This is now the fourth time that Aladdin has been canceled due to COVID-19 cases within its company, and it’s the second time that Broadway’s Frozen has had to cancel performances. Broadway’s Hamilton has also had to cancel performances.
Cast members from Aladdin and Frozen have posted on social media encouraging people to get vaccinated, consistently wear a facial covering (including masks indoors), and stay safe. Masks indoors are still a requirement at Walt Disney World for every Guest, including vaccinated Guests–particularly since Orange County has been put back into a high transmission category for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Disney classifies a suitable mask as one that is “made with at least 2 layers of breathable material”, fits “snugly”, features “ties or ear loops” that allow the Guest to be “hands-free”, and completely covers the nose and mouth. It should also be “secure under the chin”.
Universal Orlando Resort said in its post that “we will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed”. As with other theme parks and resorts, no doubt Universal Orlando Resort will be keeping tabs on COVID-19 cases in the area and using those numbers to help determine the adjustments to its mask requirement as the pandemic continues to worsen.