NY to allow indoor entertainment centers, amusement parks to reopen at reduced capacity

Photo by Tom Rivers: People ride the Wave Swinger at Seabreeze, an amusement park in Irondequoit, in this photo from Aug. 30, 2019.

Posted 17 February 2021 at 2:27 pm

Day and overnight summer camps also can plan to reopen this year

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that indoor family entertainment centers and places of amusement can open with a 25 percent capacity limit beginning Friday, March 26.

Outdoor amusement parks can open with a 33 percent capacity limit beginning Friday, April 9.

All facilities must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the local health department. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and customers will be required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry.

Additionally, day and overnight summer camps in New York State can begin to plan for reopening. The Department of Health will issue specific reopening guidance, including details on timing, in the coming weeks.

“In New York, we base our decisions on the science and data and adjust as the virus adjusts,” Cuomo said. “With continued decreases in the infection and hospitalization rates, we have been able to take steps toward beginning our post-Covid recovery and we are excited to now be in a place where we can bring back our recreational industries with safety protocols in place.”

In addition to face coverings, social distancing and mandatory health screenings, all indoor family and entertainment centers and places of amusement, and outdoor amusement parks, must follow the below guidelines:

  • Contact information must be collected from each party to inform contact tracing, if needed;
  • High-touch areas, attractions, and rides must be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day;
  • Attractions must close if they cannot ensure distancing and be frequently cleaned/disinfected;
  • Sufficient staff must be deployed to enforce compliance with rules, including capacity, distancing and face coverings;
  • Tickets should be sold in advance, and entry/exit and waiting times should be staggered to avoid congestion;
  • Indoor areas must meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards; and
  • Retail, food services and recreational activities must abide by all state-issued guidance.

Bob Duffy, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and former Lt. Gov., issued this statement:

“The decision to allow reopening of indoor and outdoor amusement parks this spring is welcome progress. Last year Seabreeze, a local treasure, was not able to open their doors to guests, but the bills never stopped. For them and many others in our region, this decision provides much needed relief. This move is one more sign that we are slowly returning to normalcy. Greater Rochester Chamber commends the Governor and his team for putting forth guidelines to allow this reopening.”