Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida has eased its Covid-19 restrictions, allowing vaccinated guests to enter without a mask. The park will not require proof of vaccination, however, to avoid running afoul of state law.
Disney World – which was closed for several months at the start of the pandemic last year before reopening in July 2020 – announced in a statement that face masks would no longer be mandatory come June 15, except for on transportation like buses and monorails.
Masks had previously been mandatory even in the outdoor areas of the resort. The outdoor mask requirement was finally dropped on May 15.
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Though Disney World claimed masks are only optional for “fully vaccinated” guests, the resort also announced that it would “not require proof of vaccination.” It will instead rely on the honesty of unvaccinated guests “to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation.”
Disney World’s decision not to require proof of vaccination is likely the result of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning vaccine passports in April.
“Businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying Covid-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” DeSantis ruled, and the executive order was soon codified following support from the state House.
The vaccine passport ban has led to some conflict with cruise companies – one of Florida’s biggest tourist industries – which have attempted to make vaccination a requirement for staying on their ships.
As a result of DeSantis’ executive order, Royal Caribbean International has encouraged its passengers to get vaccinated but has not made it mandatory. Other companies with ships that leave from Florida, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, are still making vaccination a mandatory requirement.
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