Disney’s most recent earnings call took place yesterday, where the company shared the latest financial reports when it comes to their various business segments, including Parks, Experiences, and Products.
In addition to the discussion about Disney’s current financial picture, CEO Bob Chapek also commented on the newest CDC guidelines and recommendations, also released yesterday just hours before the earnings call began.
The newest recommendations state that if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, then you no longer have to wear a face mask outdoors or indoors, regardless of the size of crowds, with some exceptions.
Since theme parks were not included in the list of those exceptions, all eyes turned to companies like Disney to see what their response would be and if the new CDC recommendations would actually mean that their current face mask mandates would be modified or lifted entirely.
On the subject of the latest CDC guidance, Chapek stated that, “Given the guidance that just came from the CDC today, and earlier guidance that we got from the governor of Florida, we’ve already started to increase our capacities, though obviously today’s guidance that we got from the CDC in terms of those that were vaccinated do not necessarily need to wear masks anymore, both outdoors and indoors is very big news for us, particularly if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on. That can be quite daunting.”
Chapek continued on to say, “So we think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience and we believe that as we’re now bringing back a lot of people back to work, that it’s going to be an even bigger catalyst for growth in attendance, and we’ve been quite pleased to date. So I think you’re going to see an immediate increase in the number of folks that we’re able to admit into our parks through our reservation system that we recently implemented. So we’re very, very excited about that.”
Later in the day, Chapek made an appearance on CNBC where he further elaborated on his comments regarding future face mask wearing and rules…. When asked on the subject, he replied by saying, “There’s gonna be a lot more comfortable people this summer in Orlando. You can only imagine what it would be like in 95 degrees and 95% humidity wearing a mask, so we’re thrilled to be able to do that.”
With so much discussion around the discomfort of wearing a face covering in the summer heat, folks are left wondering if a major change in Disney World’s face mask policy could go into effect in the coming weeks as summer is right around the corner. Right now, however, Disney has not elaborated on an exact timeline for when we can expect mask mandates to change.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for more updates from Disney World as we prepare to hear some potentially big news when it comes to the resort’s face mask policies, which have been in effect since they began their phased reopening last year.
Click here to read more about the latest CDC guidance regarding face mask wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals.
Are you planning to visit Disney World in 2021? Let us know in the comments!
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