Universal Orlando guests stop wearing masks after policy change, photos show

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Guests at Universal Studios Orlando on Saturday were quick to adapt to the theme park’s new mask policy, which says that guests who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are not required to wear face coverings.

On Friday, the Florida theme park announced that starting Saturday, it was dropping its mask mandate for both indoor and outdoor areas of the park in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance, FOX Business reported.

On Saturday morning, pictures of the theme park were posted to social media by theme park ticket retailer Orlando Informer and the website Universal Park News Today, showing that guests were already taking the new guidance to heart. 

The photos showed people standing in lines, riding roller coasters and walking through gift shops, many without wearing masks. Some people still appeared to be wearing masks, while others had them pulled down on their chins. Park staff also appeared to be wearing masks.

Pictures of Universal’s signage were also posted on Twitter by Orlando Informer. Those signs reflected Universal’s current policy, that masks are “optional for fully vaccinated guests” and required indoors for guests who are not fully vaccinated.

Though guests who are not fully vaccinated are expected to continue to wear face coverings for the safety of other customers and staff, Universal Studios told FOX Business that it is not requiring guests to show proof of vaccination.

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According to a video posted by Orlando Informer on Twitter, Universal even has a new safety message indicating its updated policy. 

In the clip, a voice can be heard saying: “Face coverings are not required for fully vaccinated guests. Guests who are not fully vaccinated should wear face coverings while indoors.”

The message also encouraged guests to continue to social distance and to wash their hands.

The clip shows the message being played both in the CityWalk and in other areas of the park.

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The CDC eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people earlier this month, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. 

Universal Studios Orlando announced Friday that it would no longer require masks for guests who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. (iStock)

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said during a White House briefing on May 13.  

CVS, Costco, Target, and grocers Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and Kroger, have all changed their previously strict guidelines, allowing fully vaccinated customers to take off their masks, unless it is mandated at a state or local level. 

FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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