In its ongoing efforts to stay open amid the coronavirus pandemic, Disney World has now banned eating and drinking while walking within the park. This closes a major loophole that was allowing visitors to go for long stretches without wearing face masks, according to a report by Deadline, Disney is not the only public space making this change.
Disney World has been widely criticized for opening up at all during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many supporters point out that the company is strictly enforcing its mask mandate, at least. However, the new rules did state that visitors could lower their masks while eating and drinking, which was reportedly being exploited as a loophole to go without masks. Those bothered by the face coverings would simply walk around with a snack or a drink in their hand so that they could not be reprimanded. Disney was forced to put a stop to the phenomenon at last.
Disney World has reportedly banned eating and drinking while walking around the park, asking visitors to enjoy their snacks and drinks in place when they purchase them. From now on, a snack in hand will not be accepted as an excuse for having your mouth and nose uncovered.
Disney World has also put the responsibility on customers to maintain social distance while eating and drinking, with the help of the rearrangements within the park. Even with a limited capacity, an enhanced cleaning schedule and other restrictions, people are turning out in droves to enjoy the theme park.
Still, no matter how strict the new policies get, there are some critics who believe that Disney should not be open at all due to the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, that includes big Disney World fans, such as YouTube personality, Jenny Nicholson. Nicholson went viral last week when she shared a clip from a livestream where a Disney World visitor was extremely ill, but continued to visit the park, refusing to consider that she had COVID-19 symptoms.
I feel like if I was getting in line for a rollercoaster and all the rollercoaster attendants were in full hazmat gear I wouldn't be like "thank god I feel safe going on this rollercoaster" I would be like "perhaps I should not be here riding this rollercoaster today"— Jenny Nicholson (@JennyENicholson) July 17, 2020
Nicholson and others have since repeatedly posted about Disney World visitors, wondering how enjoyable the park can even be in this tense social climate. They argue that no amount of safety measures should justify the risk to public health that the theme park presents.
Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in Florida, where the death toll is now nearing 5,000 people. The same is true for the U.S. in general — at the time fo this writing, there are at least 3.78 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 142,000 deaths due to the virus.