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What new mask rules will tourists face? Depends on where they are.

Las Vegas casinos are letting fully vaccinated guests forgo masks

(iStock/Washington Post illustration)
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Vaccinated travelers heading to hotels, theme parks and museums should still pack their masks — at least for now.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with new guidelines Thursday saying people who are vaccinated can largely stop wearing masks inside and outside. Planes, trains and other forms of transportation will still require masks for everyone, and states, local authorities and businesses may set their own rules.

That means a vaccinated traveler flying to another state to stay in a hotel and visit local restaurants and attractions shouldn’t assume there will be one overarching mask rule for the entire journey. Corporate policies, state rules and local restrictions might not yet fall in line with the CDC guidelines — or with each other, but mask requirements could change quickly.

While there have not been widespread announcements dropping mask rules for travelers since Thursday, a few companies have hinted at changes or have announced new policies. That trend was especially pronounced in Las Vegas, where several casino operators changed their requirements on Friday.

Wynn Las Vegas said it would communicate to guests and employees that they don’t have to wear a mask if they are fully vaccinated but must wear one if not. The Cosmopolitan and MGM Resorts — which includes MGM Grand, Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and other casino resorts — also said on their websites Friday that fully vaccinated guests did not need to wear masks.

Those changes follow a decision from the Nevada Gaming Control Board saying that casinos could make their own policies, local news station KLAS reported.

“The resort trusts guests to take the appropriate precautions based on their personal vaccination status,” a news release said. In Las Vegas, 91 percent of the company’s employees are vaccinated, Wynn Resorts said.

CDC says fully vaccinated Americans no longer need masks indoors or outdoors in many cases

During an earnings call Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggested changes could be in store at the company’s theme parks, which have had strict mask requirements.

“Obviously, today’s guidance that we got from the CDC in terms of those that were vaccinated do not necessarily need to wear masks anymore, both outdoors and indoors, is very big news for us,” Chapek said. “Particularly, if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on, that could be quite daunting. So we think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience.”

Late Friday night, the company followed through — well before summer. As of Saturday, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., says masks are optional in outdoor common areas, but still required indoors, in theaters and on attractions and transportation.

Universal Orlando Resort put out its own announcement Friday afternoon, saying it would no longer require any guests to wear face coverings outdoors, effective Saturday. Masks for everyone — vaccinated or not — will still be required for all indoor locations and attractions “from the moment guests enter the queue to when they exit the experience,” spokesman Tom Schroder said in a statement.

“Based on these updates, guests are still expected to bring a face covering with them for their visit,” he said, adding that people still must follow social distancing guidelines. The resort, which includes Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, recently reduced the amount of distance required between parties from six feet to three.

Most hotel companies contacted by The Washington Post did not provide an update about their mask rules, but Hilton said it was still looking into the CDC guidance at this point.

The Smithsonian Institution was also evaluating the guidelines for its museums, galleries and zoo, spokeswoman Alexandria Fairchild said in an email.

“In the interim, we will not ask about the vaccination status of any visitors and continue to require that all visitors ages 2 and older wear masks while visiting our museums,” she said.

Read more:

TSA extends mask requirement for planes, other public transportation in U.S. until September

CDC lifts some mask rules for vaccinated cruise passengers

Masks are still required in planes, trains and buses despite the loosened CDC guidelines