Japanese Theme Parks Agree to End Mask Requirements from March 13, Abolish COVID-19 Measures Entirely from May

Since mid-2020, Japanese theme parks and amusement parks have been guided by a set of guidelines created by an industry coalition to cooperate with the government’s recommendations in preventing the spread of COVID-19 while allowing for safe operations. It seems now these guidelines will finally be coming to an end just under three years after they were first adopted, and in particular that guests will finally be able to take their masks off.

TDR SocialDistancing OFFICIAL 5

The newest revision of the Theme Park & Amusement Park COVID-19 Operation Guidelines as posted on March 1 reveals that from March 13, parks will be allowed to give guests and employees alike the option to take their masks off at all locations, not just outdoors when distanced as previously prescribed. This falls in line with the Japanese government’s push to remove all masking requirements on the same day. Japanese airlines like Japan Airlines and ANA have already announced that passengers and crew members alike will be allowed to be maskless from March 13, and the wider business lobby will begin pushing on the same day as well for all businesses to remove their mask requirements.

Additionally, a new note at the document’s heading reveals that the guidelines will be abolished entirely from May 8, 2023, meaning parks will be able to operate under their own protocols and judgment going forward. May 8 is also the scheduled date when the Japanese government will downgrade COVID-19 to a level similar to influenza and move on to its next phase of the pandemic based on individual management.

While both the Oriental Land Company and USJ LLC both signed off on these changes, neither Tokyo Disney Resort nor Universal Studios Japan have announced any plans to update their current policies as of yet. Currently they require masking while indoors, in queues, or viewing outdoor entertainment, and only recommend masks while walking around outdoors for guests. All Cast Members/Crew Members are required to wear masks at all times, indoors and outdoors.

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