IAAPA outlines COVID-19 safety protocols as attractions reopen

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, has developed guidance on reopening safely following the COVID-19 pandemic.

IAAPA is pleased to share health and safety guidance as attractions reopen, helping operators to welcome guests back safely. This has been developed in partnership with attractions industry leaders from across the globe, as well as medical professionals, taking into account the advice from government agencies.

The guidance is designed to help attractions assess their current health and safety procedures and make the adjustments needed in order to keep visitors safe and healthy.

Safety is the number one priority

“The health and safety of guests and employees has always been the number one priority for the global attractions industry,” says Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA.

“Parks and attractions around the world are excited to welcome back their employees and guests. While an attraction visit may be different, and new procedures – such as wearing a face-covering – may now be required, it’s critical that guests play an active role and cooperate in following new protocols to ensure everyone continues to have fun, memorable, and safe experiences.”

Health and safety guidelines

As theme parks, FECs, water parks, zoos and more begin to reopen, guests can expect a range of new health and safety measures. For instance, many operators are opening with limited capacity, meaning that visitors may need to book in advance. They will also find that many attractions require a temperature check before allowing guests to enter. Visitors are reminded that if they feel unwell, they should stay at home.

Experts agree that wearing a face mask can help to stop the spread of the virus, meaning that several attractions are making them mandatory, for both guests and staff. Visitors can find out if this is necessary by checking the attraction’s website or social media beforehand.

Social distancing is the new normal everywhere, and attractions are no different. Visitors will notice new signs and new ways of queuing at their favourite attractions, perhaps with ride reservation and virtual queuing systems in place.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend frequent hand washing to combat the spread of COVID-19, so attractions will be making sure that there are plenty of hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations. Operators are also stepping up their cleaning and sanitisation procedures.

In addition, smartphones will be used more often, for things such as digital tickets, QR codes, virtual queuing and even food ordering. Therefore, attractions are recommending that guests remember to charge the phones before they visit.

Last month, IAAPA announced the cancellation of IAAPA Expo Europe 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was due to take place from 21 – 24 September in London, UK.