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US theme parks relax face mask policies, some introduce vaccine passports

US theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Orlando are relaxing their face mask policies, with some requiring ‘vaccine passports’.

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In California, fully vaccinated visitors will no longer have to wear face coverings at theme parks from June 15. Walt Disney World in Florida will also lift its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated guests on June 15.

Universal Studios Hollywood requires visitors who are not residents of California to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, but California residents do not need vaccine passports.

“In accordance with government guidelines, to visit you must either be a California resident or an out-of-state visitor who is fully vaccinated for COVID-19,” said Universal Studios Hollywood.

“Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID will be required for park entry by out-of-state visitors,” it added.

Universal Studios Hollywood vaccine passports

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As for Disneyland in California, guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination as it is only ‘strongly recommended’. The same goes for obtaining a negative COVID-19 test.

“The State of California strongly recommends that all guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks,” said Disneyland.

“As always, our procedures may change as we continue to update our health and safety processes based on guidance from the state of California and local health officials.”

In Florida, Walt Disney World Resort says face coverings “will be optional for fully vaccinated guests in most areas”, while Universal Orlando Resort says face masks are “no longer required for fully vaccinated guests”.

“Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated guests in most areas,” said Disney World. “Face coverings will still be required of all guests on Disney transportation. 

Walt Disney World makes face masks optional

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“While we will not require proof of vaccination, we expect guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation”

“In accordance with CDC guidelines, face coverings are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests, indoors or outdoors,” said Universal Orlando.

“While we do not require proof of vaccination, we do expect those who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings while indoors.”

Last month, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Legoland Florida relaxed their face mask policies in outdoor areas. This came after the attractions relaxed COVID-19 policies such as temperature checks.

Images: Disney/Universal

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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