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Universal Studios to require employees to be fully vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19

The theme park says this does not apply to guests.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Studios has set a deadline for employees to be either fully vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. 

The theme park resort confirmed the new policy Wednesday to 10 Tampa Bay.

All employees must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 9 or get tested every seven days. Free COVID testing will be provided on-site for team members.

"The health and safety of our guests and team members has been our ongoing focus during the pandemic," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Our team members share this commitment, with the majority telling us they already have been vaccinated. As an update to our existing measures in order to comply with federally mandated OSHA regulations, we are implementing a COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy for team members. As of February 9, 2022, team members will be required to either be fully vaccinated  – or to test every seven days. We will initially provide free, on-site, testing for team members and evaluate this as we move forward."

According to Universal Studios, this new policy only affects employees and will not impact theme park guests. 

In December, Universal Orlando once again began requiring face masks for guests and employees in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. 

The renewed policy took effect on Dec. 24. 

Face coverings will also be mandatory at all attractions. Universal Orlando says guests must have their face masks on from the moment they step into the queue until they leave the ride. 

These latest policy changes come as Florida and the U.S. are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant. 

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