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Disney World, Disneyland to Mandate Masks Indoors

Walt Disney Co.

DIS 0.42%

mentioned it can start mandating that company at its home theme parks put on masks when indoors, as Covid-19 an infection charges surge in Florida and California.

The brand new coverage, affecting guests to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., will go into impact on Friday. All Disney parks staff will put on masks indoors, as properly. Face masks will likely be required no matter an individual’s vaccination standing.

“We’re adapting our well being and security pointers primarily based on steerage from well being and authorities officers,” a Disney spokesperson mentioned.

The reinforcement of masks is simply the newest chapter in Disney’s 16-month saga of reopening its theme parks within the wake of Covid-19. The pandemic threatened Disney’s enterprise in unprecedented methods, eliminating more than $1 billion from its backside line and leading to the layoffs of tens of 1000’s of employees. Because the economic system reopened earlier this 12 months, Disney’s response—and shoppers’ enthusiasm to get again to the parks—grew to become a telltale of the nation’s bigger re-emergence.

In June, Disney advised visitors to Walt Disney World they may lose the masks “in most areas” in the event that they have been vaccinated. On the time, Disney Chief Government

Bob Chapek

mentioned the change was “very large information for us, notably if anybody has been in Florida in the midst of summer time with a masks on.”

Apple is now requiring masks at most of its U.S. shops.


Mark Lennihan/Related Press

Now rising an infection charges, buoyed by the extremely contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, are prompting Disney and other companies to adjust policies.

Apple Inc.

AAPL 0.66%

this week mentioned it might require employees and customers to don masks at most of its U.S. shops no matter vaccination standing.

Since their return, company at Disney’s parks have reported vital crowds, and executives noticed large demand for tickets once they went on sale. Differing state responses put the 2 parks on completely different paths to reopening. Disneyland was closed for 14 months earlier than reopening in April, whereas Disney World has been promoting tickets since final summer time.

Florida has seen a big rise in Covid-19 infections in current days, and earlier this month the state registered the best variety of Covid-related deaths within the nation. Hospitalizations in mid-July have been the best that they had been since February. Jerry Demings, mayor of Orange County, the place Disney World is predicated, referred to as the uptick “extraordinary” and mentioned at a press convention earlier this week that the resurgence put the realm in “disaster mode.” Counties throughout Florida have additionally reported a big enhance in infections.

In California, the place lawmakers have been extra conservative than their counterparts in Florida about reopening the economic system, well being officers have advised vaccinated residents resume carrying masks indoors. The state has additionally registered a rise in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Whereas Covid-19 vaccinations are extremely efficient at stopping hospitalizations or demise from the virus, they’re not foolproof in stopping an infection. This poses issues for occasions just like the Olympics and raises broader questions on immunity in the long run. Photograph: David Crigger/Related Press

Write to Erich Schwartzel at [email protected]

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