Walt Disney World has just announced that it will be modifying its mask policy to slightly loosen the requirements for when masks must be worn at the theme parks.
The latest update will begin on April 8th. The update will allow guests to remove masks when they are taking photos outdoors while physically distanced.
Specifically the new policy states –
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.
It is important to note that masks must be worn at all other times, in accordance with the original guidelines for the park’s reopening back in July of 2020.
As of today, Walt Disney World has implemented a stricter new rule for table service restaurants. The language of the old rule on the webpage was that face masks “must be worn in all public areas of the restaurant—including while entering and exiting—and can be removed while eating or drinking.”
The new rule states:
“Face coverings for each Guest age 2 and up, which must be worn in all public areas and can only be removed while actively eating or drinking. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations.”
The previous rule was enforced so that guests could remove their face masks upon being seated, and leave them off for the duration of the meal, so long as they were at their table.
Even with this rule, some guests chose to leave their masks on while waiting or when interacting with Cast Members.
In my opinion the change is pretty minor. The new rule, would appear that with this clarification Disney will now require guests to stay masked except while actively eating their food or drinking, which is consistent with the regular in-park signs and announcement. I don’t think that the change will necessarily mean putting the mask back on in between bites, but it probably does mean being masked while ordering and waiting for drinks and appetizers or entrees to be delivered, and when waiting for the bill.