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Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando drops COVID temperature tests

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Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando are loosening some of their COVID-19 protocols since the Florida theme parks reopened last summer.

Universal Orlando visitors no longer need to undergo temperature controls before entering the park, and the socially distant gap has been reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet, Universal said on its website.

“Still, most of our original safety protocols remain unchanged,” it said, “from wearing face covers at our resort to our ongoing commitment to cleanliness and disinfection.”

Disney World announced that it will discontinue visitor temperature tests at all locations where they are currently required starting May 16. Until the announcement, visitors were required to have their temperature checked before entering the four theme parks, retail stores in Disney Springs, and restaurants in the Walt Disney World Resort complex.

Last week, Orange County, Florida chief health officer, Dr. Raul Pino, told reporters that temperature controls “make no difference” in the fight against COVID-19 and may be a waste of resources that would be better used elsewhere.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an order on Monday to lift remaining local COVID restrictions – including mask mandates.

While masks are no longer required in public areas in Florida, privately owned companies can still take their own shots, and Disney and Universal’s masking rules continue to apply.

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Janet Smith