Universal Orlando and Disney World Make Masks Optional for Vaccinated Visitors
Universal Orlando Resort has changed its mask policy to make face coverings optional, and Walt Disney World Resort has adopted a similar policy.
On Sunday, Universal made masks optional for fully vaccinated guests both indoors and outdoors, but will not require proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated parkgoers are "encouraged" to wear masks while indoors, including in restaurants, shops, and in public areas of hotels.
"We are updating our policy for face coverings based on local trends and conditions," the park wrote in its updated guidance.
The new policy comes more than a month after Universal reinstated an indoor mask mandate ahead of the Christmas holiday and reverts to the park's earlier policy of making masks optional for vaccinated guests.
Disney World has dropped the mask mandate indoors for those vaccinated, while Disney cannot check for proof of vaccination, non-vaccinated individuals are expected to remain masked. Masks are still required on Disney shuttles and in health settings like First Aid.
"As we have done since reopening, we've been very intentional and gradual in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols," the park wrote.
California has allowed its statewide indoor mask mandate to expire for vaccinated individuals, the state's Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, citing decreasing case numbers and stabilized hospitalizations. In Los Angeles, however, masks will remain mandatory in indoor public spaces, ABC7 Los Angeles reported. The county will consider lifting a mask mandate for outdoor mega-events.
Universal Studios Hollywood, which is located in Los Angeles, requires that masks are worn indoors for all guests, regardless of vaccination status. Park guests are also required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the park, according to Universal, also in line with the county's rules.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.