The safety measures are part of an agreement reached between the Walt Disney Co. and the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), which represents about 43,000 workers at the parks in Orlando, Fla.

By Alison Fox
May 18, 2020
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Workers at Walt Disney World paint Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The iconic castle is getting a facelift in preparation for Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration in 2021.
Orlando Sentinel/Getty

Walt Disney World may still be closed, but employees will be ready with masks and other precautions when the Happiest Place on Earth finally welcomes visitors once again.

The safety measures are part of an agreement reached between the Walt Disney Co. and the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), which represents about 43,000 workers at the parks in Orlando, Fla., Reuters reported.

In addition to requiring both workers and guests to wear masks, Disney will implement temperature checks for guests, put up plastic barriers and utilize touchless transactions at cash registers, and hold monthly worker safety meetings, the wire service noted.

Disney will also increase cleaning at the parks and facilities. And staff who become ill with COVID-19 will receive paid time off in order to quarantine themselves, according to the wire service.

Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California have been closed since March as COVID-19 spread throughout the U.S. That same month, the company shut the doors in Disneyland Paris. That followed the closing of Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland in January and Tokyo Disney Resort in February.

Last week, the Shanghai park reopened, featuring smaller crowds, markings on the ground to indicate social distancing in lines, and mandatory face masks.

Indicating a light at the end of the tunnel, Disney Springs in Florida will begin a phased reopening later this month with some shopping and dining services, but will also require the use of face coverings by both guests and cast members, increased cleaning, and new training for employees.

“Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings may be modified and will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, based on direction from health experts and government officials to promote physical distancing,” according to Walt Disney World, adding: “Our focus remains on the health and safety of the entire Disney community -- including the well-being of the Cast Members who are caring for and securing our parks and Resorts during the closure. We’re currently evaluating new and enhanced safety measures to help us all stay well.”