Steve Burton Has A Message For Fans After His General Hospital Exit

"General Hospital" fans were understandably upset when Steve Burton left the soap opera in 2021 because he refused to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The actor — who played Jason Morgan off and on since 1992 — revealed that he had applied for medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine, but Disney denied them both. "This is also about personal freedom," Burton explained in an Instagram video. "I don't think anyone should lose their livelihood over this."

His announcement came a few months after Burton had tested positive for COVID, claiming he caught the virus at work. At the time, he said he was asymptomatic and had only gotten tested because he had a personal appearance coming up. He never disclosed his vaccination status, but his costar Nancy Lee Grahn tweeted that there were unvaccinated performers on the set and urged her union to take action.

Burton's character was soon presumed dead after the tunnels on Cassadine Island collapsed and he was buried in the rubble with no signs of life, per With Jason a major part of the show's storyline, his absence left a major hole in the "GH" landscape.

And while Burton has moved on, he has something to say to "GH" fans that are still upset about his departure from Port Charles.

Steve Burton has nothing but positive memories about his time on GH

Steve Burton's decision to leave "General Hospital" instead of complying with the network's COVID-19 vaccine mandate left plenty of fans upset. In fact, even his "GH" costar Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) revealed on the actors' weekly podcast, "That's Awesome with Steve & Bradford," that he disagreed with Burton's choice, per

But while Burton admits that the timing of his exit wasn't the best, the actor wants fans to know he has no regrets about his time on the soap opera. "It was my family for so long," he told Deadline. "I grew up there and the fans have always been awesome to me."

Burton was even fine with his vaccination status being a topic for discussion, admitting that it's all part of being in the public eye. And his departure from "GH" came down to "a handshake," with both parties walking away with good feelings. "It's how you choose to handle it. We all have a choice in how to handle things," he said. "You could get angry ... and bad-mouth people and take the low road and that's not gonna get anyone anywhere, ever. I truly am grateful and I work from that."

He has moved on to another soap

Steve Burton has moved on from his time with "General Hospital," joining the cast of "Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem," the streaming series airing exclusively on Peacock. Burton will be reprising his role as Harris Michaels, which he originated on "Days of Our Lives" in 1988, for the show's second season. The Daytime Emmy winner will be working alongside Kristian Alfonso and Peter Reckell, who are returning as beloved couple Bo and Hope Brady (via TV Season Spoilers).

And while Jason Morgan on GH was a mobster with a heart of gold, Burton's character on "Beyond Salem" will probably not be as lovable. "He's not operating on a code of ethics that is great," he told Deadline. "Albert was like, 'Do you care about being a bad guy?' I said, 'No, man. Whatever. I can play anything.' I don't know how much I can say but he does some not nice things in this chapter. There may be some redemption."

The soap premieres on July 11 and features a five-episode storyline, per What to Watch.