Disney CEO says attendance caps at parks being raised

Entertainment
Todd Dowd

Todd Dowd, foreground, waits in line to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Thursday, May 13, 2021, at a mobile vaccination site at the Greater Bethel Church in Miami. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust and the Florida Division of Emergency Management partnered to provide the one-dose vaccine at unsheltered homeless hotspots and shelters across the county. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Disney’s top executive says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to ease up mask-wearing requirements for fully vaccinated people is “very big news for us.”

During an earnings call on Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted that there could be a change to the mandatory mask requirement at Disney parks in the near future after the CDC said people could stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

“Particularly, if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on. That could be quite daunting,” Chapek said. “So we think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience.”

Chapek said the parks had already started raising the number of people allowed in, as least in Florida, based on relaxed restrictions coming from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. He didn’t say how many more people were being allowed in the parks compared to the previous restriction of a little more than a third of a park’s capacity.

“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 systems that we recently implemented,” Chapek said.

The CDC guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

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