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Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld relax COVID-19 policies

Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando have started relaxing COVID-19 policies including temperature checks.

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Florida attractions such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando are starting to relax COVID-19 policies, including social distancing and temperature screenings.

Walt Disney World announced on its website that it would phase out temperature screenings for staff on May 8 and guests on May 16.

“As this guidance continues to evolve, and with the support of local health and government officials, we are making some additional adjustments,” says Disney World.

“Following the advice of the CDC and our local health officials, we will phase out onsite temperature screenings at Walt Disney World Resort for cast members beginning May 8 and guests on May 16.”

Universal, Disney end temperature checks

universal orlando

“We will continue to follow the guidance of health and safety leaders going forward and most importantly encourage people to get vaccinated.”

Universal later said that it would end temperature checks, and the website now reads: “We’re excited to enhance your Universal experience with the latest safety updates from local health and government officials.

“There are no more temperature checks upon entry. And social distancing between travel parties is now reduced to three feet.

“Still, most of our original safety protocols remain unchanged – from wearing face coverings across our resort to our ongoing dedication to cleanliness and sanitization.”

Following announcements from Disney and Universal, SeaWorld updated its website to remove required temperature checks and social distancing of six feet.

SeaWorld updates social distancing policy

Turtle Habitat SeaWorld Orlando

“SeaWorld is committed to the health and safety of our guests, employees, and the animals in our care,” says SeaWorld’s website.

“We have worked diligently with state and local health officials, outside consultants and attraction industry leaders to enhance our already strict health, safety and cleanliness standards.”

The relaxed guidelines come after Orange County Health Officer Dr Raul Pino said temperature checks may be a waste of resources. IAAPA also released a study suggesting theme parks could lower social distancing requirements by 50 percent.

Meanwhile, Universal Orlando is looking to hire more than 100 employees for its call center team and is offering a $750 signing bonus.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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