ALBANY, N.Y. – With the steady decline in the virus positivity rate across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says entertainment venues can begin opening in the spring.
Indoor family entertainment centers have the green light to reopen at 25% capacity March 26, and outdoor amusement parks can reopen at 33% capacity starting April 9.
Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and guests will have to be screened and have their temperature taken before entering the venue.
"In New York, we base our decisions on the science and data and adjust as the virus adjusts," said Cuomo. "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. As we've said time and time again, our success will be dictated by our actions and as long as we stay united and keep carrying this momentum forward in a positive direction, we will be able to see more and more sectors of our economy reopen."
According to Cuomo, day and overnight summer camps are expected to reopen in June, but testing procedures must be established. More guidance on camps will come over the next few weeks.
Each business must submit a reopening plan to its county health department for approval. Each plan should establish safety policies and procedures in accordance with the following state 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.
- Retail, food services and recreational activities must abide by all State-issued guidance.
The announcement comes two months after Family Fun Factory filed a lawsuit against the Cuomo and the state for keeping indoor recreational businesses closed throughout the pandemic.
Earlier this month, PiNZ in New Hartford also joined a suit against the state looking for the OK to fully reopen.
Both lawsuits claim entertainment businesses were not given the opportunity to reopen following the same safety guidelines as gyms and other indoor venues.
Specific details on safety protocols and guidelines at each kind of venue have not yet been released.