NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced amusement parks in the state will be able to reopen with restrictions in March and April.
Starting March 26, indoor family entertainment centers and amusement parks can reopen at 25% capacity, while outdoor amusement parks may reopen April 9 with 33% capacity.
Face coverings, social distancing, temperature checks, frequent cleaning and disinfections will be enforced.
"Riders attractions that cannot be social distanced or cleaned must remain closed," Cuomo said.
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
- Retail, food services and recreational activities must abide by all State-issued guidance
"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. 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."
Legoland New York Resort released on statement in regards to Cuomo's announcement.
"This afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that the state's indoor family entertainment centers, outdoor amusement parks, and sleepaway camps all have the green light to reopen. A monumental win for theme parks, this news is especially significant for LEGOLAND New York Resort which will celebrate its grand opening this year, becoming the first theme park to open in the Northeast in more than four decades. We are thrilled with Governor Cuomo's announcement for the reopening of family attractions, including outdoor theme parks. This means LEGOLAND New York Resort will be able to celebrate its grand opening this season as planned and we look forward to sharing more details soon. Our first priority is always the health, safety and security of our guests and our team. We are awaiting further guidance from New York State on specific safety and operating procedures, which we will follow alongside all federal and local health and safety guidelines."
Southern Brooklyn leaders also shared their reaction on amusement parks in Coney Island.
"The outdoor amusement district in Coney Island has been closed for almost a full year, with an estimated $100 million dollars in lost revenue due to the cancellation of the 2020 summer season. This closure--the first time in over a century--has created a dire and unstable financial situation for many struggling, local businesses, and has led to thousands of lost jobs. After months of steadfast advocacy, we are very grateful to Governor Cuomo for announcing that outdoor amusements will be allowed to reopen on April 9th and look forward to a safe, and fun 2021 season for the amusement district. While the Governor's announcement is great news for the family-owned amusement parks of Coney Island, we must still do more to help these anchor institutions recover after losing a full year of income in 2020. We will continue to advocate for relief that addresses the needs of seasonal amusement parks, which were unable to open last summer, from the federal, state, and local governments, including expanding eligibility for the federal Shuttered Venues relief program to amusement parks. Until critical relief is provided, our outer-borough economy will continue to struggle with instability and an uncertain future. But, today is a day for celebrating that we will soon again be able to ride the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel. Coney Island is resilient; we've survived floods and fires. We need to work together to ensure that we survive this challenge, too, and come back stronger."
The governor added with the current trajectory, the state is planning to reopen overnight summer camps in June as well. All participants will have to go through testing protocols.
"One eye on these variants of interest, but they can plan on reopening," he said.
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