Vaccinated visitors soon can take off masks at Disney World

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Walt Disney World in Florida is making it easier to see smiles again, but guests still can’t hug the characters.

Starting Tuesday, face masks will be optional for visitors to the theme park resort who are vaccinated, though Disney workers won’t require proof of vaccination, the company said on its website.

Visitors who aren’t fully vaccinated still will need to wear face masks indoors and on all rides and attractions. All visitors, whether vaccinated or not, will still be required to wear face coverings on buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner, the resort’s aerial gondola, according to the latest guidelines.

The decision on masks is Disney World’s latest tweak to the virus-related safety rules it created when the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March 2020. Disney World closed for two months last year at the start of the outbreak and reopened last summer with strict safety guidelines that involved masking, social distancing and crowd limits.

Last month, Disney officials started allowing visitors to go without masks outdoors. Disney officials said they expect to ease up on physical distancing guidelines in the near future.

“It’s important to remember that some experiences and entertainment may still be operating with limited capacity or may remain temporarily unavailable,” the company said on its website. “We’re not quite ready to bring back everything yet, but we are optimistic and look forward to the day when Disney pals and princesses are able to hug once again.”

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Young guests enjoy seeing Winnie The Pooh, and Tigger too, at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Monday, May 17, 2021, after Disney Co. eased face mask requirements over the weekend. Guests are allowed to go maskless in outdoor areas of the parks. Indoor attractions, shops and Disney transportation at the resort all still require masks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

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