Walt Disney World has banned visitors from eating and drinking while walking to prevent them from spreading their germs around when they’re not wearing a mask.

The park’s face covering policy requires all guests and cast members to wear masks “at all times,” except when dining or swimming. But the Orlando-based resort updated the policy just days after its July 11 reopening to ensure visitors don’t move while eating.

“You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” a notice on the park’s website reads.

A photo shared by the Disney Food Blog on Instagram over the weekend shows a sign placed near an eating area reminding guests of the rule change.

Disney World officials have decided to welcome guests for the first time since March despite an alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida, one of the hardest-hit states in all of the U.S. The Florida Department of Health on Monday confirmed more than 10,300 new positive tests, bringing the total number of infections to over 360,000 since the pandemic began.

The number of hospitalizations and deaths also continue to climb, following an alarming trend seen across southern and western states in recent weeks.

But Disney decided to reopen its Orlando parks anyway, citing a series of new hygiene and safety protocols that include temperature screenings for entry at some of its locations and more thorough sanitizing of consoles and handrails.

The company furloughed about 100,000 hotel and park employees in April to try to contain its financial losses.


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