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Disney World Closes Loophole Allowing Visitors to Wander Maskless While Eating

Plus, Trader Joe’s is changing its exoticizing “ethnic” food labels, and more news to start your day

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People wearing masks in front of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom castle.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on the day of reopening, July 11, 2020.
Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Disney World closes loophole that would allow visitors to walk and eat without masks on

The newly reopened Disney World is no longer allowing visitors to eat and drink while walking, putting to an end the national pastime of wandering around the theme park with a Mickey Mouse-shaped candy apple in your mouth while double fisting a massive turkey leg and a pineapple Dole Whip.

The news, which was first reported by Disney blogs including WDWNT and Mickey Blog, came approximately a week after the Orlando park reopened on July 11, following a monthslong closure amid the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Under Disney World’s original reopening policies, visitors were required to wear face masks in the park, in public areas at resorts, and in the shopping area Disney Springs, but could remove those masks while eating or drinking (or swimming). This created a loophole of sorts, giving some visitors an excuse to move around the park without their masks on, as long as they could claim they were consuming something. The revised policy appears to close that loophole, stating that visitors can remove their masks while actively eating or drinking, but “should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.”

Of course, the new new loophole for visitors determined to go maskless — at the expense of employees’ wellbeing and public health — could be to remove their masks, take a bite or a sip, put their masks back on, walk another few steps, and repeat. Or guests could simply dine at the park’s restaurants, where masks aren’t required while actively eating or drinking. Truly the most magical place on Earth!

And in other news…

  • After nearly 1,000 people signed an online petition demanding that Trader Joe’s rename its exoticizing “ethnic” food labels (e.g., Trader Ming’s, Trader José, etc.), the company says it has been in the process of updating those product names, and should complete that process “very soon.” [AP]
  • The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, with support from Democratic senators, urges grocery chains to reinstate hazard pay for frontline workers for the entire duration of the pandemic. [Supermarket News]
  • The owner of a Hamptons restaurant that Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein used to frequent burned down the table that the two used to dine at, while employees and local residents watching around him cheered and chanted, “Burn, Epstein, burn!” I suppose we all have a part to play in ridding the world of injustice. [CNN]
  • Meet Nancy Green, the “real Aunt Jemima,” who toured the country playing the part of the mascot that she later acknowledged had been “based on a racial stereotype.” [NYT]
  • Could the “ghost food hall” concept — a combination of delivery-only “ghost kitchens” and food halls — emerge as a business model for restaurant owners to count on? [Washington Post]
  • Chipotle has added new organic drinks — including lemonades and agua frescas — made by Tractor Beverage Co. to its menu. [NRN]

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