Major Florida Companies Drop Mask Mandates After CDC Announcement


After an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 are free to gather without masks, several Florida corporations have announced they will alter their policies based on the guidance related to mask mandates.

“Visitors won’t have to wear face masks outdoors at any of Central Florida’s major theme parks, as Universal Orlando, Disney World and SeaWorld relaxed the COVID-19 rule effective Saturday, sparking a mixed reaction among some fans,” The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectCustomers at the theme parks will still be required to wear masks while in line, or while visiting indoor attractions.

Publix, the Florida-based supermarket chain, loosened its mask policy even further, announcing that its vaccinated employees and customers will not have to wear masks in its stores at all.

Businesses in Florida that are hesitant to end mask mandates face a dilemma: a bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) two weeks ago prevents businesses from implementing vaccine passports, inquiring about customers’ vaccination status, or refusing them service based on their vaccination status.

In a store like Publix, where vaccinated customers and employees can shop and work without masks, the company has no recourse for verifying whether a customer or employee is actually vaccinated.

Still, if the vaccine does in fact provide immunity from COVID-19, vaccinated customers mixing with unvaccinated customers should be a non-issue.

Still, many on the political left lashed out that the CDC after it lifted the mask requirements that have been ubiquitous for more than a year.

“Dear CDC, thanks for the update, I AM fully vaccinated but unless you have a way for me to readily identify maskless [sic] unvaccinated idiots, or those infected with a variant, I will keep my double masks on,” one Twitter user who identifies herself as a Democrat in her page bio said.

MSNBC’s flagship host, far-left Rachel Maddow, said she will struggle to readjust to life without government-mandated face coverings.

“Part of it is that I feel like I’m going to have to re-wire myself so that when I see somebody out in the world who’s not wearing a mask I don’t instantly think, ‘you are a threat,’ or ‘you are selfish, or ‘you are a COVID denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated,'” she said on her program Thursday night.

In Florida, though, which has remained relatively free compared to many other states during the pandemic, the transition back to normal appears to be well underway.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].











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