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COVID-19 Mask Mandate Extended for Travelers

It’s been wonderful to see Disney Parks return to normal, international borders open, and the travel industry finally boom after a long pandemic interruption.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many modifications and regulations for travelers, including those experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and beyond. From social distancing and quarantining to face masks and travel policies, health and safety regulations altered our Disney Park and Resort experience.

Now, the Biden Administration has revealed it is extending the federal transportation mask mandate past the original deadline.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to extend the federal transportation mask mandate for another 15 days to early May, according to CDC officials.

The mandate, which requires face coverings on public transportation such as planes, trains, and buses – as well as in hubs like airports and bus terminals – was originally set to expire on April 18. Now, the mask mandate for travelers is extended to May 3, 2022.

The extension aims to give officials in the Biden administration time to assemble more information and understanding of the BA.2 variant of the Coronavirus. According to an official from the White House who spoke to CNN about the rule on face masks:

“Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the US. In order to assess the potential impact, the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, CDC is recommending that TSA extend the security directive to enforce mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3, 2022.” 

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The United States is currently averaging 38,345 new COVID-19 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than half of U.S. states are seeing cases trending upward, but the daily rate is thankfully still one of the lowest since mid-July last year.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha revealed that the CDC planned to share a scientific framework this week for the federal transportation mask mandate. We’ll keep you updated on the latest news about the White House federal mask mandate for planes and other modes of transportation.

President Biden’s extension of the mask mandate means that Guests onboard Disney transportation like the Disney Monorail will still be required to wear a face covering, as well as those traveling on airlines to get to their Disney vacation.

The removal of the indoor locations face mask rule at Disney’s theme parks last month led to a sense of normalcy returning to Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Masks are still required at all indoor locations, including restaurants and indoor attractions, for Guests who are not fully vaccinated. Face coverings are optional for Guests ages 2 and up at Disney’s theme parks who are fully vaccinated. All outdoor areas, including outdoor experiences, queues, and theaters, have an optional face mask rule for both vaccinated Guests and non-vaccinated Guests.

With regard to Walt Disney World transportation, it is now optional for Guests who are fully vaccinated to wear a face mask while boarding the Disney Skyliner. Those who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a correct face covering while aboard this mode of Disney World Resort transportation. Additionally, masks are still required for those boarding a Disney bus or Monorail, despite vaccination status.

For more information on the Walt Disney World Resort COVID-19 policies and mask requirement for both unvaccinated and vaccinated Guests, visit the Walt Disney World website here.

 

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book