Disneyland Drops Mask Mandate For Fully-Vaccinated Guests: 'Face Coverings Will Be Optional'

"We expect guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations," the Walt Disney company said in a statement

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Disneyland has announced mask requirements will be lifted for fully-vaccinated visitors beginning Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

On Tuesday, the Walt Disney Company changed its current rules following California's recent moves to imminently lift the state's indoor mask requirements for those who are fully inoculated.

However, face coverings are still required for guests who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"We expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theatres," the company said in a statement posted on their website. "Face coverings will still be required by all Guests (ages 2 and up) on enclosed Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner."

Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Disney's statement does not detail if there will be any protocol in place for checking guests' vaccination status. A representative for the park did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for further details.

They do state, however, that "The State of California strongly recommends that all Guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort. We encourage people to get vaccinated."

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Currently, masks are required for all visitors ages 2 and up in indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status, until the new rules are instituted starting Thursday.

Last year, Disney issued a statement to PEOPLE announcing the company's vaccination requirement for all of its employees.

"At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority," the statement read.

"Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaries and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated."

Spear-waving warriors known as Black Panthers Dora Milaje, Wakanda's elite fighting force and the country's royal guard, perform during a media preview of Avengers Campus at California Adventure on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 in Anaheim, CA
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty

During the park's extended closure due to the pandemic, it became Orange County's first mass point-of-dispensing (POD) site of vaccinations.

Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer for Disney Parks Experiences and Products, said in a statement to PEOPLE, "Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the City of Anaheim with the use of our parking lot, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19."

Hymel continued, "After a year in which so many in our community have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty, there is now reason for optimism with the administration of a vaccine."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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