ORLANDO, Fla. – Fully vaccinated guests at Universal Orlando will no longer be required to wear masks indoors starting Saturday, according to the resort.
Universal Orlando representatives said the decision was made based on new guidelines from the CDC. The announcement made weeks after ending temperature screenings at the entrance of the resort.
News 6 spoke with Julie McGeacky and Jennifer Nelson as they were heading into the Universal theme parks. The two were visiting from Alaska when they heard the news about the new mask policy.
“It’s super exciting, especially with how hot it is down here. It’s going to be nice to make those facial connections with people again,” Nelson said.
Universal Orlando made the announcement about the change in mask policy in a statement that read in part: ”While we will not require proof of vaccination, we do expect our guests to comply with this revised policy and use face coverings if they have not been vaccinated.”
It’s a request that some parkgoers are already admitting they’re not going to follow.
“A mask can sometime be annoying. We’re all healthy, I think we’re OK,” Blake Broussard said.
Broussard and his group of friends from Louisiana are in town visiting the Universal theme parks. They’re not vaccinated yet, but said they won’t wear a mask when they return to the theme parks Saturday.
“I’m just going to enjoy my time and not wear it, I’m not going to get vaccinated either,” Hin Cheramie said.
Employees, even the ones who are fully vaccinated, will still be required to wear masks “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a spokesperson.
The safety guidelines in place at Universal also say guests are encouraged to continue keeping “a safe distance” between others.
Mask use outdoors was lifted two weeks ago based on the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the time, masks were required in all indoor locations, including restaurants and attractions.
It’s unknown at this point when the parks will return to full capacity.
“We always manage attendance to provide a safe and enjoyable guest experience, but plan to return to pre-COVID attendance levels as staffing and operational conditions allow,” a spokesperson said.
Sanitization efforts will continue throughout the parks. For more information on guidelines, click here.
A Universal spokesperson said employees who were assigned to enforce the mask and social distancing policies throughout the parks will be reassigned to other guest assistance roles.
As for some of the other theme parks, SeaWorld has already been operating under a similar mask policy. Disney, still requires their guests to wear masks in some cases. According to Disney’s website, “Face coverings are optional in outdoor common areas at Walt Disney World Resort, but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters and transportation.”