The International Association of Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has published a reopening guide regarding COVID-19 for the attractions industry in general, with considerations for the different formats of parks and family entertainment centers.
This guide is currently only available in English. Link to complete guide.
The most important reopening sections for FEC or Family Entertainment Centers are translated in this article.
Important considerations for reopening
- Allow healthy people to enjoy the facilities and encourage the use of face masks / covers for visitors and staff.
- Provide means for frequent hand washing / disinfecting.
- Manage the density of people within the facility to keep individuals or family units that have been isolating together 6 feet (2 meters) away. Physical distance guidelines may vary by region and may be reduced with the use of face masks / covers; make sure your plan is aligned with the local official guide.
- Reduce contact areas where possible, disinfect high-contact surfaces frequently.
- Protect employees with various approaches, including physical barriers, protective covers, and distance.
- Communicate with employees and visitors effectively about how to prevent the spread of germs.
- Have a plan in case a visitor or employee becomes ill on site.
WHY AMUSEMENT PARKS AND FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS ARE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER MASS MEETINGS
It is important to remember the difference from other places for mass gatherings such as stadiums, cinemas and concerts:
- Capacity can be reduced / managed to allow for appropriate social distancing.
- Seat positions at games and attractions are controlled by employees.
- Exposure time is limited. Visitors generally move throughout the experience. Guests are not sitting in one place, side by side, for an extended period
- A large percentage of assistance is made up of family members and others who live in the same household and therefore do not need to physically distance themselves from each other.
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS, GAMES AND ARCADES
- Hand sanitizing stations should be easily accessible in playgrounds and arcade areas.
- Establish cleaning protocols for machines and game components (commands, buttons, balls, squirt guns, etc.) to make sure they are cleaned frequently.
- Consider providing hand sanitizer and self-service sanitizing wipes throughout the facility so guests can help maintain cleanliness.
- Machines must be positioned to allow a physical distance of 6 feet (2 meters) between players. Instead of moving machines, some can be turned off or off to prevent guests from using adjacent machines.
- Consider adding physical barriers between players and between players and employees. Clean barriers and other high-contact surfaces frequently.
- In multiplayer games, physical distance must be maintained between players unless those players are family members / people living in the same household, in which case they can sit closer to each other.
- Reconsider the operation of soft zones, playgrounds, ball games, and inflatables where physical clearance and sanitation protocols can be difficult to manage.
- Please refer to the “Retail and Merchandise” and “Payments” sections below for guidance on managing the award / redemption areas, point systems, and payments.
POINTS / TICKET EXCHANGE CENTERS AND RETAIL
- Hand sanitizer bandage (with at least 60% alcohol), face masks / covers, and face covers as convenience items for visitors. Coordinate with the operations department to ensure that the face masks / covers you sell are appropriate for your attractions.
- Educate customers with the proper signage so that they only touch what they intend to buy.
- Create floor marks that provide minimum guiding distances between customers queuing for service or ATMs.
- Use physical barriers to separate staff from visitors at cash registers and merchandise sorting locations when necessary. Many companies are using plexiglass / acrylic panels for these barriers to provide optimal visibility.
- Cash registers, physical barriers, telephones, knobs, hard surfaces, handles, and surfaces that touch frequently must be disinfected frequently and when changing shifts.
- All sales must be final until further notice (no returns).
- Some items should be placed in plastic packages to reduce handling / facilitate sale.
- Allow guests to put their purchased items in shopping bags so employees don’t touch them.
- Encourage visitors to make purchases online (before their visit) or from apps once inside the attraction to minimize on-site payment transactions.
- Cash handling should be avoided if possible. If cash handling is required, employees should wash or disinfect their hands frequently.
- Try to organize credit card readers so that visitors can insert / swipe their own cards, so that employees don’t have to do it for them. If the credit card machines are still nearby, the employee must back up while the guest makes the payment. Work with your payment partners to increase limits on purchases that do not require a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or signature.
- Clean ATMs frequently. Provide hand washing stations or disinfectant nearby. Clean and disinfect employee cash bags / cash registers before distribution and upon return.
- Assign one person to each point of sale (POS) terminal if possible. The terminal must be disinfected between each user and after each shift. If multiple employees are assigned to a POS terminal, servers must disinfect their hands before and after each use.
- Use physical barriers to separate staff from visitors at cash registers when possible.