Starting Tuesday, June 15, if you’re in the U.S., fully vaccinated and going to either Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, or Disneyland in Anaheim, California, you will no longer be required to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of covid-19. Will you be asked to prove you’re vaccinated? No. No, you will not.
Disney World has been planning this change for a few days while Disneyland announced the news Monday. “While guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination, vaccinated guests will self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry,” reads Disneyland’s site. “In addition, all guests will need to attest that they are aware of the state of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative covid-19 test prior to entering the theme parks.”
The Disneyland page also reads: “Guests (ages 2 and up) who are not fully vaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.” The Disney World wording is slightly different: “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. Guests must observe current policies on face coverings until June 15.”
Both parks add that specific spots, mostly enclosed transportation, will still require masks for everyone, and Disney “encourage[s] people to get vaccinated.” But that’s not all. Physical distancing will also be “relaxed” or “self-determined” at both parks, and temperature checks will no longer take place at Disneyland where out-of-state guests will officially be allowed back as well. One thing that’s not changing is the reservations — guests still can’t just show up to the parks unannounced, they must have previous reservations to get in.
This isn’t some random choice, of course. June 15 is the date that’s been given by the state of California to remove all restrictions put in place over the past year. It’s also, obviously, something that was going to happen eventually since the parks reopened over the past few months. Plus, having personally been to Disneyland this past weekend, while masks seemed to be monitored well, distancing was only partially enforced, simply because there aren’t enough Disney employees to check every place in the park.
Also, no one checked to make sure I was a California resident. So half of this was already “self-determined” by the guests anyway which is probably not the safest way to operate. For instance, in Miami, Florida last week, a bitcoin conference had no face mask or proof of vaccine requirements for attendees and several have already contracted the coronavirus.
It’s a little scary to jump from a fully compliant theme park to almost back to normal literally overnight. There’s also the danger of non-vaccinated people lying, carrying the disease, and spreading it not just to other non-vaccinated guests, but to vaccinated guests — it’s important to remember even if you are vaccinated, you can still carry and spread covid-19.
You’re just less likely to get sick or die from it yourself.