Under new CDC guidance face masks return to Disney today, remain optional at Universal Orlando
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Throughout the pandemic, what one major Florida theme park did with introducing or lifting pandemic precautions, the others quickly followed. But that may have just changed in a major way.
Walt Disney World recently adjusted its face mask policies one day after new Centers of Disease Control (CDC) guidance came out recommending the use of indoor face masks by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in areas of significant COVID-19 spread. However, its neighbor Universal Orlando is currently heading in a different direction.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
As reported by Scott Gustin, Universal Orlando released a statement that beginning on July 31, face coverings will again be required by employees when working indoors. However, that requirement does not extend to guests.
In California, Universal Studios Hollywood does have an indoor face mask requirement in place in line with local restrictions in California. But, when it comes to guests, Univeral Orlando has simply updated its policy to encourage — but not require — indoor mask usage across the resort.
We encourage all our guests to follow CDC guidelines and local directives to wear face coverings while indoors across Universal Orlando Resort. Face coverings are optional while outdoors. We also encourage all guests to keep a safe distance between travel parties, and we remain focused on maintaining the highest cleanliness and sanitization standards.
Due to the surge of cases and the transmissibility of the delta variant, on July 27, the CDC guidelines recommend the use of face masks when indoors by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in areas of ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ transmission. Currently, the entire state of Florida meets the CDC criteria for that level of cases with Orange County, the home to Universal Orlando, coming in at the highest transmission rating.
The Orlando area’s AdventHealth hospital system currently has more than 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, which reportedly surpasses its previous peak. It has now declared a ‘black level’ status in order to delay non-emergent procedures and free up additional capacity.
Additionally, this week the mayor of Orange County has declared a local state of emergency and described the current situation as ‘crisis mode’.
According to a July 28 executive order from the mayor’s office, the 14-day positivity average for Orange County is on the increase at over 15% with approximately 1,371 persons testing positive for COVID-19 in one day in the county — the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.
In a July 29 earnings call, the parent company of NBCUniversal, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, shared that Univeral Orlando theme park attendance is back to 2019 levels faster than anticipated. This matches with visual observations from my recent mid-July trip.
Orlando-area COVID-19 cases are reaching all-time highs, full-sized crowds are back at Universal Orlando and face masks remain recommended, but optional for all Universal Orlando guests.
Featured image by author.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees