CDC recommends US schools continue to use masks as theme parks like Disney World update rules

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Schools in the United States should continue to use masks for the 2020-2021 academic year as all students will not be fully vaccinated, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday (May 15).

The CDC in its latest guidance said all kindergarten through grade 12 schools “should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritise universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.”

The recommendation comes after the agency on Thursday said fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.

The CDC said masks should be worn at all times by all people in school facilities and buses, while maintaining a six foot distance (1.8 metres) between teachers and students.

Earlier this month US regulators authorised Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12 years old.

Meanwhile, Disney World and other US amusement parks have also updated their mask policy. Masks have been made optional in outdoor areas and pool decks at Walt Disney’s Disney World in Orlando, Florida, effective May 15, but are still needed for entering rides and at indoor locations, according to the guidelines posted on its website.

Universal Orlando has also relaxed its mask policy for guests at outdoor locations.

“Face coverings will remain required at all indoor locations, including restaurants, shops, and indoor hotel public areas,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

SeaWorld Entertainment said on Saturday masks will no longer be required for guests at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Orlando, Aquatica San Antonio, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA for customers who are fully vaccinated.

“All park employees will be required to continue to wear face coverings,” a SeaWorld spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The CDC on Thursday advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.

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