Orange County Mayor Shares Thoughts on When Face Mask Mandate Could End

Orange County in Florida, where Disney World is located, issued its first face mask mandate in June of last year. Since then, face masks have been required in public spaces throughout the county.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (Frank Weber, Orange County government)

With vaccinations on the rise nationwide, many have wondered when mandates such as this could be modified or lifted entirely. Thanks to an alert from Joe Schreiber today, we learned that Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has made comments on that very question.

Mayor Demings said in a press conference today that “the mask mandate will end, I think, as we get closer to maybe 50% of the total population having been vaccinated.” In terms of when that could happen, he continued on to say, “I believe that by the time we get to June, perhaps, we should be there at that point. We’ll see.”

Orange County International Airport

There are other factors that will be in consideration when it comes to modifying any mandates, including the spread of any potential COVID-19 variants in the coming weeks and months. Mayor Demings closed his comment by saying that he remained optimistic that modifications could come within the next month or two if vaccinations continue.

Disney World Face Masks

Keep in mind that the face mask policies in question would apply to public spaces in the county, and private companies like Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort could still set their own face mask mandates separate from the county.

Health and safety signage in Disney Springs

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek commented at the most recent earnings call in February that he expects to “have some level of mask wearing and social distancing [in the parks] through the end of this year,” but this largely depended on the rate of vaccination nationwide.

The markers are located right about where someone would be standing to snap a photo in Disney World.

Chapek noted that having a large number of vaccines available to the public by April would be a “major game-changer” for the current health and safety policies in the parks, but no announcements or changes have been made at this time. Disney World’s face mask policy is still in effect, which requires all guests above the age of 2 to wear a face mask at all times, except when stationary, physically distanced from others, and  actively eating or drinking.

Face mask signage in Magic Kingdom

We’ll continue to monitor the latest developments in Disney World and the surrounding Central Florida area and we will keep you informed with the most up-to-date news!

Click here to look back on Bob Chapek’s statements concerning how long he thinks it will take before the parks return to “normal.”

Do you have a Disney World trip planned for 2021? Let us know in the comments!

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One Reply to “Orange County Mayor Shares Thoughts on When Face Mask Mandate Could End”

  1. Walt Disney World is not subject to Orange County’s mandate due to the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The state law that created the Reedy Creek Improvement District does many things, including “exempting the area of the District from … safety, sanitary and like codes and regulations”.

    Orange County’s mandate, however, *does* impact other properties, like Universal Orlando.
    Even if Orange County ends their mandate, the City of Orlando could impose their own, which Universal Orlando would be subject to as it’s the only theme park resort within Orlando city limits.