Following Universal Orlando becoming the first park to drop requirements that guests wear face masks, Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando followed suit with their own changes.
Disney World updated its policies Friday night, making masks optional in outdoor spaces, but still requiring face coverings in all indoor spaces and on rides.
SeaWorld Orlando went several steps further, not requiring masks anywhere in the park. An unnamed SeaWorld spokesperson said in a statement that the change was based on Thursday’s guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said masks were no longer recommended in most settings for anyone fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, SeaWorld admitted in its statement that it won’t be checking guests’ vaccination status. “We will not require proof of vaccine, but ask our guests to respectfully comply with our revised policy,” the park’s statement said.
As of Saturday, 42.9% of adults over the age of 18 and 36.2% of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. No vaccine has been authorized for use in children under the age of 12; while younger kids are at much lower risk of severe COVID-19, they can still pass the virus that causes the disease onto others.