“You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.”

By Stacey Leasca
July 20, 2020
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On July 11, Disney World finally reopened to visitors after closing its doors for nearly four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, park officials introduced new health guidelines for guests and cast members to ensure everyone’s safety. But now, it appears the park is tweaking those rules to close a potentially dangerous loophole.

“Face coverings are required for all guests (ages two and up) and cast members,” Disney explained on its new health guidelines page. “Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.”

Guests walk past the the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster on the second day of the re-opening of Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Thursday, July 16, 2020. All four of Disney's Florida parks are now open, including Epcot, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, with limited capacity and safety protocols in place in response to the coronavirus pandenmic.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

This rule was known. However, guests at the park found that they could skirt the mask guidelines by eating on the go. This meant grabbing a snack, taking off their mask, and walking around while eating popcorn, pretzels, or that famous Dole Whip without a face covering. But Disney has caught on and is banning that, too.

“You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” the website added.

To make it even more clear, Disney offered the following rules on what constitutes an appropriate face covering while visiting the park. It must be “made with at least two layers of breathable material,” and “fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin.” That means it must “fit snugly, but comfortably, against the side of the face” and be “secured with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free.” Sorry, everyone, but bandanas are out.

“At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings,” Disney said in its blog post.

And perhaps most importantly, Disney added that wearing a mask is just one part of remaining safe while visiting the park. As it noted, “The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.” Check out all of the new guidelines before visiting on Disney’s website now.