Orlando, Florida is in quite the pickle as of late, thanks to the continued resurgence of the coronavirus’ second wave.
You see, this is a city whose entire economy runs on tourism dollars. The theme parks, the proximity to beaches…everything about Orlando and the surrounding areas is part of a complex economy of hotels, restaurants, amusements, and attractions that keeps the central Florida economy humming along.
Coronavirus changed all of that swiftly and dramatically, and it has Orlandoans scrambling to make ends meet.
Disney World, for instance, has lobbied heavily to have major league American sports utilize their ESPN-branded Wide World of Sports complex to “safely” resume play, promising plenty of room to keep teams quarantined in nearby vacant hotels and the like.
The park has now reopened to the public, but under some wild new guidelines.
Disney World has closed a mask loophole, banning park visitors from eating and drinking while they walk as a means to encourage attendees to wear masks.
“Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members,” reads Disney World’s official policy. “Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.”
The policy only allows eating and drinking as long as guests remove their masks while standing still and socially distant from others. “You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” the policy reads.
Disney had somehow not anticipated this “loophole”.
“Mask rule update. Disney has updated face covering guidelines to say that guests may only remove masks when ACTIVELY eating and drinking, and must be stationary and physically distanced when doing so,” said writer Brooke McDonald in an Instagram post. “This means no more munching Mickey pretzels or sipping drinks as you stroll.”
As Florida’s COVID-19 cases continue to grow, Disney World’s risk managers are likely looking at any number of ways to keep the park open and keep their massive workforce employed.
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