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Disney World might follow CDC guidance, allow fully vaccinated guests to remove masks while on park properties

Photo by Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, might soon permit fully vaccinated patrons to pass on masks while on park properties, Insider reported Friday.

What are the details?

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans can return to life without masks both indoors and outdoors.

In response to the news, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that he expected to see an "immediate" increase in visitors following the announcement of the new pandemic guidelines.

As such, the company indicated that it may lift its private mask mandate following the update.

Chapek, who made the remarks during a company earnings call on Thursday, did not specify when the company would change the requirement, but pointed out that the announcement is "very big news" for the company and believed it would serve as a "catalyst for growth in attendance."

Further, such move would "make for an even more pleasant experience" for visitors and employees alike.

According to Forbes, the announcement has also reportedly prompted the parks to "imminently raise their capacity."

At the time of this reporting, Disney theme parks require all guests to wear face coverings at all times — including when outdoors — unless they are actively eating or drinking.

The Orlando Sentinel on Thursday reported that Chapek said, "Anybody [who has] been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on, that can be quite daunting, so we think that's going to make for an even more pleasant experience. 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 systems that we recently implemented, so we're very, very excited about that."

A spokesperson for the company told CNN's Natasha Chen that the company will issue updated guidance following the CDC's announcement "as soon as is practical."

"Today's guidance from the CDC allowing fully vaccinated individuals to remove masks and the removal of physical distancing requirements is extremely positive news and as soon as is practical we will implement updated guidelines across our businesses."

What else?

In Thursday remarks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, "Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."

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