Disney bans eating and drinking while walking around the park

Visitors to Disney World Florida have been told they can no longer eat and drink on the go.

Resort officials introduced the rule in order to close a loophole which saw guests walking around the park without masks.

As part of new measures brought in to help stop the spread of coronavirus, visitors were instructed to bring their own face coverings and wear them at all times within the park, except for when dining and swimming.

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Guests were therefore bypassing the rule by buying a drink or snack, removing their mask and eating or drinking while walking around the resort.

Disney has now been stricter in its guidance to indicate that this is not appropriate.

Park-goers should only eat while standing still or sitting, while maintaining social distancing.

“You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” according to the resort’s website.

Editor and Disney fan Brooke Geiger McDonald clarified things further, writing in an Instagram post: “This means no more munching Mickey pretzels or sipping drinks as you stroll.

“This is a *good* thing for at least TWO big reasons: 1. It keeps us all safer, and 2. Let’s be honest – it’s just a whole lot easier to soak up every last bite of that perfect, plastic cheese with your Mickey pretzel if you’re not also trying to walk.”

Disney World was heavily criticised by some when it reopened earlier July despite a surge in coronavirus cases within the state of Florida.

An online petition on moveon.org, which claimed to be from “concerned cast members”, garnered more than 20,000 signatures. It urged the state’s governor Rob DeSantis and other officials to delay the park’s reopening “until it’s safe”.

“It is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making a profit,” it read.

“There’s absolutely people that are nervous, when you hear the reports of the virus, the statistics, but what they see every day is Disney taking the steps necessary to keep them and the guests safe,” Matt Hollis, head of the Services Trades Council Union (STCU) collective which represents 43,000 Disney World employees, told the Guardian.

“There’s certainly going to be a learning curve as we learn the new normal, but the cast members will do everything they can to adapt with the new measures designed to keep everyone safe.”

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