A performer disguised as Mickey Mouse entertains guests during the reopening of the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, the United States, on Friday, April 30, 2021.
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The Walt Disney Company announced on Friday that all employees and non-union workers in the United States must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of September.
Employees still working from home must provide proof of vaccination prior to returning to Disney locations, including theme parks and offices.
Disney said it has started talks with the unions representing its other employees, particularly those who work in its theme parks.
“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” the company said in a statement.
The notification comes shortly after Disney announced that theme park guests, regardless of vaccine status, must wear masks while indoors at their domestic theme parks.
This policy was introduced after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course and recommended that fully vaccinated individuals return to masks in locations with high rates of Covid transmission. These hot spots include states like California and Florida, which are home to Disney’s US parks.
The CDC warned Thursday that the delta variant, widespread across the country, was as contagious as chickenpox. It also has a longer transmission window than the original Covid-19 strain and can make the elderly sicker even if they have been fully vaccinated.
Other companies that have introduced new vaccination guidelines include Google, Facebook, and Walmart.
Disney has updated its safety guidelines in line with local health regulations since the pandemic began, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, the company required proof of a Covid vaccination or a negative Covid test before entering its Paris amusement park according to French guidelines.