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Disney cracks down on face mask loophole: Stay still to take off mask

You now need to be stationary to remove your mask. The theme park giant reopened its four Orlando parks this month.
Epcot reopened on Wednesday as Walt Disney World continued its phased reopening
Epcot reopened on Wednesday as Walt Disney World continued its phased reopening [ Walt Disney World ]
Published Jul. 20, 2020|Updated Jul. 22, 2020

Walt Disney World is on to you, guests walking around with water bottles and food to escape the parks’ mask rule. And they would like you to knock it off.

The theme park giant has updated its face mask policy: Guests can no longer eat and drink while perusing the parks, strolling through Disney Springs or exploring the resorts.

Disney’s policy requiring face masks started when Disney Springs reopened on May 20, and later extended to the four theme parks that reopened this month.

It requires that guests wear a mask, except when they are eating or drinking. Some have taken advantage of that by carrying around an open water bottle or a pretzel, and walking around mask-free.

According to the amended requirements on Disney World’s website: “You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.”

A sign notifies patrons of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay of a face covering relation zone  in the amusement park on Thursday, June 11, 2020, in Tampa. The park, owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, has reopened to the public for the first time in almost 3 months after closing on March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A sign notifies patrons of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay of a face covering relation zone in the amusement park on Thursday, June 11, 2020, in Tampa. The park, owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, has reopened to the public for the first time in almost 3 months after closing on March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

If you check social media pictures posted from Disney and the other Florida theme parks that have reopened this summer, it’s been a popular loophole.

There is another instance in which you can remove your mask in the theme parks. Busch Gardens, Universal and Disney have offered “relaxation zones” that look like the old smoking areas. They are set off to the side, with tables and umbrellas, and guests can relax for awhile with their masks off as long as they maintain proper social distancing.

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