Disney World to Begin Easing COVID Restrictions in 'Gradual, Phased Approach'

Disney World says that they will be reducing physical distancing measures in “many areas” of the park and will start phasing out onsite temperature screenings for guests

Cinderella Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. are seen at Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Starting this month, Disney World will begin gradually easing a number of COVID-19 restrictions as the number of fully vaccinated Americans continues to rise.

In a recent update on the Orlando resort's website, it was stated that it will be reducing physical distancing measures in "many areas" of the park and will start phasing out temperature screenings for guests.

"As guidance has continued to evolve, we—with the support of health and government officials—will be making more gradual adjustments," the website reads.

Disney World says that it will be reducing physical distancing measures with "a gradual, phased approach," although "six-feet distancing measures will continue in all dining locations, merchandise stores and in areas where Guests can temporarily remove their masks."

For now, physical barriers have also been added in select areas to promote social distancing and they ask that guests traveling in parties of 10 or more split into smaller groups while inside the park.

Citing the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and local health officials, they stated that they will begin phasing out onsite temperature screening for guests on May 16. (Temperature screenings for cast members has already begun to be phased out.)

"Temperature screenings are required for entry to some locations," the website reads. For now, screenings with no-touch thermometers will still be necessary before entry to "some locations at Walt Disney World Resort, including the Walt Disney World theme parks and the Disney Springs area."

Anybody with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above will not be allowed entry, nor will anyone from their party.

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Walt Disney World
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Face coverings are still required for all Cast Members and guests over the age of 2, even among those who have been vaccinated.

Masks must be worn at all times unless guests are dining or swimming. Guests are also advised that they may temporarily remove masks while "actively eating, drinking, or taking an outdoor photo."

Additionally, the site update encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

Universal Orlando Resort has also recently announced similar changes to their health and safety protocol.

A recent update states that "there are no more temperature checks upon entry" and that "social distancing between travel parties is now reduced to three feet." However, "all guests are still required to wear masks and guests will also be required to use hand sanitizer before boarding select rides."

Disney World and Disneyland in California both closed down in March 2020. Disney World began a phased reopening in July, while Disneyland just reopened to California residents only on April 30.

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