After over three months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Walt Disney World has reopened its gates this week, firstly to Cast Members then to Annual Passholders and finally on Saturday to the public.
Due to the rising number of reported COVID-19 cases in Florida over the last few weeks, there had been a lot of speculation as to whether it was the right decision for Walt Disney World to continue with its planned July 11 reopening date.
Early reports from opening day show positive signs. There are guests posting about small numbers of people in the park, compared to the usual crowds that would be the norm to see, mask wearing by all, short wait times, rides being disinfected and sanitized at regular intervals and social distancing happening throughout the park.
We all know that Walt Disney World is a place to escape the stresses and strains of life and some guests reported that with low capacity within the parks, you could take a more relaxed pace, due to short wait times.
The COVID-19 world we are currently living in obviously couldn't be escaped for long, due to social distancing in queue areas and on rides and most prominently of all in the wearing of a face covering by all cast members and guests. This has undoubtedly been the most controversial and talked about measure that has been brought in due to COVID-19.
New announced guidelines regarding face coverings
We know that all cast members have to wear a mask and in most cases a face shield (visor) at all times. We also know that all guests (aged 2 and up) are required to bring their own face coverings and must wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.
Walt Disney World has now updated their Face coverings policy with more specific guidelines as to what face coverings are allowed and how they should be worn.
Here are Disney's new official guidelines which start by saying all face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least two layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
- It also states, at this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings.
It ends by outlining that costume masks are prohibited from being worn and the use of face coverings is not a substitute for social distancing.
These updated guidelines must be followed for anyone who is looking to return to Walt Disney World now it has reopened.
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