Walt Disney World’s mask requirement has been updated to address guests who have been eating and drinking while walking around the parks. The new language tells guests that they must be stationary and must maintain social distancing while eating or drinking with their mask off.
The new language regarding masks can be seen below, courtesy of the Walt Disney World website:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
This update comes in response to guests who would carry around a drink with them to avoid wearing their mask. It’s also a necessary update to address guests who were walking throughout World Showcase without masks as they enjoyed Food and Wine offerings. Disney is trying to prevent people from actively moving throughout the parks without a mask.
Unfortunately, some guests have tried to do whatever they can to avoid masks. That includes occasionally sipping on water or a Starbucks drink while wandering throughout the parks. Disney’s policy previously said guests could take their masks off while eating or drinking, giving guests an exploitable loophole. Now, cast members should have an easier time enforcing the mask policy as it has removed any gray areas.
While this may sound like a significant change, many guests were already following this guideline. At Epcot, most guests would purchase their items and then pull over to the side of the walkway to enjoy them. Then, once they were finished, the masks would go back on and they’d continue about their day. The same could also be seen at the other Walt Disney World parks.
As with any policy, this new mask update is subject to change and could be modified again in the future.