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Are playgrounds, amusement parks, and water parks open? What rules or safety guidance must they follow?

Last Updated: 09/01/2020

Playgrounds, amusement parks, and water parks may reopen, while following appropriate health and safety standards.

Playgrounds and amusement facilities must follow appropriate mitigation requirements detailed in Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 181, and the Department of Health's Health and Safety Standards for Outdoor and Indoor High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Activities and summarized below.

What To Expect at High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Establishments

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in EO 157, EO 181 , and the DOH Health and Safety Standards. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of EO 157, EO 181, and the health and safety standards and businesses should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance. Water parks must also adhere to the requirements of EO153 and the Health and Safety Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities.

Establishments must institute the following policies:

  • Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to 50 percent – excluding employees
  • Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding staff
  • Develop a plan to screen guests, visitors, and employees for illness upon their entry into the venue.
  • Require workers and customers to wear masks at all times, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health, such as in the water, or where the individual is under two years of age
  • Sanitize shared equipment offered for rental such as mini-golf clubs, harnesses, helmets, lap bars, etc. after each use
  • Install hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility
  • Use cashless or contactless payment methods and reservation and cancellation systems where possible
  • Establish a "guest flow" plan, including managing queues and making walkways or stairways one-way or clearly divided for bi-directional travel.
  • Implement social distancing signage, floor decals or ground markings, and/or video/audio announcements, particularly where individuals may form a line.
  • Adjust seating on amusement rides to accommodate six feet of distance (e.g., seating every other ride vehicle, except in the case of same family/household groupings, limiting capacity on a ride to allow for space between unrelated family groups).
  • Limit locker room use to hand washing and restroom use
  • Limit shower use to individually partitioned showers or communal showers with installed partitions, and only at facilities with pools.

Guidance For Employees
Recreational businesses must impose the following requirements on employees:

  • Require employees with symptoms of COVID-19 be sent home
  • Require all employees to wear face at all times, except where doing so would inhibit the individual's health
  • Require employees to wash and/or sanitize their hands prior to each shift and provide adequate break time for repeated handwashing through the workday

Source: Executive Order No. 153; Executive Order No. 157; Executive Order No. 181; Health and Safety Standards for Outdoor and Indoor High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Activities