Universal Orlando and Disney World both announced Friday that guests will no longer be required to wear masks while outdoors starting Saturday.
SeaWorld Orlando and its sister park, Tampa’s Busch Gardens, are allowing guests who say they are fully vaccinated to remove their masks throughout the parks. The two parks will not require proof of vaccination but are asking guests to “respectfully comply.”
"Based on guidance from local government and health officials, effective Saturday, May 15, face coverings for guests are no longer mandatory when outdoors at Universal Orlando," Tom Schroder, a spokesperson for Universal told USA TODAY.
The Florida theme park's announcement came one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Disney officials said Thursday, hours after the health agency's new guidance was released, that they would be considering changes to its mask requirement.
On Friday, Disney updated the Disney World website with changes to the mask policy in Florida parks.
According to the Disney website, masks are needed: Upon entering and throughout all attractions; all theaters, including theater entrances; all transportation, including transportation entrances; and all indoor locations, including restaurants, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary.
Disney World said it would begin phasing out temperature checks for visitors at all locations that currently require them starting May 16.
The CDC said fully vaccinated Americans, for the most part, no longer need to wear masks indoors and don’t have to wear masks outdoors, even in crowded spaces.
While face coverings will no longer be a requisite outdoors at Universal Orlando, visitors will still be expected to bring a face mask.
"Face coverings will remain required at all indoor locations, including restaurants, shops, and indoor hotel public areas," Schroder said. "Face coverings are also required at all attractions from the moment guests enter the queue to when they exit the experience."
Last week, Universal Orlando announced that its social-distancing requirement has been reduced from 6 feet to 3, which will remain intact, and that visitors will no longer have to undergo temperature checks before entering the park.
The loosening of mask requirements won't be applied at Universal Studios Hollywood, according to Schroder, at least not yet.
"At Universal Studios Hollywood, we will continue to operate under existing, enhanced health and safety protocols based on local conditions and guidance from government and health officials," Schroder said. "We will continue to review CDC guidelines and move forward in a way that is best for our guests, our team members and our business."
Copyright 2021 USA TODAY. All rights reserved. From https://www.usatoday.com. By Morgan Hines & Kelly Tyko.