LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Face coverings will be required, but not in the water, at water parks that reopen this summer, according to new guidance released by state public health officials.
California released new reopening guidelines this week for water parks, which will be allowed to reopen at 15% capacity when its county reaches the orange tier of reopening, which indicates moderate spread of COVID-19. Indoor pools may not reopen until its county reaches the orange or yellow tier.READ MORE: Pine Fire Near Palmdale Scorches 442 Acres, 79% Contained
Most water parks operate outdoors in general, and the CDC earlier this week had loosened its recommendations on wearing face masks, citing evidence that transmission of the virus was less risky outdoors. However, the CDC still recommended wearing a mask outdoors in crowded settings or venues, and California public officials are requiring face coverings at parks and pools unless eating, drinking or on a ride or in a pool where the mask will become wet.
Guests at a water park without a mask will also be required to remain six feet from people who are not a part of their households. The state is requiring parks to provide a face covering to guests who have lost their mask, and anyone who refuses to comply must be removed from the facility immediately.READ MORE: $25 Million Challenge Grant Made For Wildlife Crossing In Agoura Hills
As with theme parks, water parks will only be allowed to admit in-state visitors, until further notice. And park visitors will be permitted to eat and drink only in designated dining areas.
Water parks that do reopen will be required to develop a worker COVID-19 testing program for all employees who may encounter other workers or support staff. Workers who participate in weekly testing or are fully vaccinated will not be counted toward a venue’s occupancy capacity limit and a venue that has fully vaccinated or tested negative attendees may increase their capacity.
Six Flags Magic Mountain has reopened in Valencia, but its accompanying water park, Hurricane Harbor remains closed. Knott’s Berry Farm has announced it will reopen on May 21, followed about a week later by Soak City on May 29. Raging Waters in San Dimas has not reopened, but is on a hiring spree in anticipation of reopening in May, while Castle Park in Riverside — which is owned by the same parent company, Palace Entertainment — reopened on April 9.MORE NEWS: Pedestrian Struck and Killed In Compton
Great Wolf Lodge, a hotel with an extensive indoor water park, says it will reopen on May 22.