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After Supreme Court ruling, Universal retracts COVID testing mandates for employees

In a message to employees that was sent out on Thursday, Universal Studios Orlando announced it will not require COVID testing for its unvaccinated employees, despite a directive Universal issued on January 10. The decision was made in response to a change in federal regulations, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure theme parks!

Credit: Universal

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Universal Studios‘ initial directive would have required employees of the resort to either be vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID testing beginning on February 9. The directive would have also required unvaccinated employees to wear masks while on duty in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard.

But on January 13, the Supreme Court threw out the requirement put forth by OSHA, stating that the OSHA overstepped its authority with the mandate.

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Previously, spokesman for Universal Studios Tom Schroder said that it would adjust its policies regarding vaccination and COVID testing as changes are made by the courts.

The message sent to employees of Universal Studios yesterday also stated that the company would pay employees who were unable to work a shift due to side effects from receiving the COVID vaccine or the booster shot. That pay is available to employees through April 9.

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Credit: FOX Business

Though the message made the company’s previous directive null and void, it also said that Universal would continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but that it would not require vaccination or mandate employee testing.

Universal will still require its employees to share their vaccination status with the company, a practice Universal has been carrying out since August 2021. But the company doesn’t require employees to show their vaccine cards as proof of vaccination.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!