AGAWAM, MA (WFSB) - Six Flags New England outlined new procedures for guests to follow part of a plan to keep visitors safe from the coronavirus.
However, the park still has not given a date for its 2020 reopening.
As its location in Oklahoma City will reopen starting on June 5 with limited capacity, Six Flags New England is already making preparations for when they can reopen.
When the amusement park opens its doors, there are a few new screening processes park goers will have to go through before they can go on their favorite ride.
Right now, Six Flags New England looks like a ghost town, but having people roam the park again won’t be like it was before.
Park goers can expect a new normal to get inside.
They will have to make reservations online then pick a day they want their family to go.
“And I will share with guests right now that right now our link is not open and ready for you to reserve, even though I know at home you want to,” said Jennifer McGrath, communications manager for Six Flags New England. “Our time will come when we’re allowed to do that.”
Before people can even step foot in the park, they have to go through a screening process where they check temperatures and ask a couple of questions.
Their precautions don’t stop there.
“We are going to be absolutely sanitizing seats in regards to our attractions, but we’re going to go above and beyond that,” McGrath said. “We’re going to be utilizing social distancing within our rides, meaning empty rows, spaces in between you and of course other families.”
As far as the water park goes, go that is still up in the air.
“In regards to water parks here at Six Flags New England, we are waiting for our state and local municipalities to provide us extra guidance before we discuss the intention of opening our water park first thing,” she said.
As of Tuesday night, amusement parks are to be determined in phase three or four under Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to reopen the Bay State, but Six Flags New England wants to reopen when it is safe to do so.
“When it comes to opening Six Flags New England, we’re going to do it when the time is right,” she said. “Right now in regards to a phase three or phase four, that could be an option, but we are waiting for those in regards to local, regional, town leadership where we could open successfully.”
Now phase three is projected to start the first week of July, and that’s only if the number of COVID-19 cases continue to go down.
The new guidelines range from health screenings for guests and team members to attendance management.
Health Screenings for Guests and Team Members
- Contact-less IR thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry; and individuals will be asked if they are healthy and will be required to acknowledge the company’s health policies.
- All guests over the age of two and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit/work day. Accommodations may be made on a case-by-case basis for persons with disabilities, health concerns, religious restrictions, or other circumstances that in Six Flags’ discretion warrant a modification of this face mask requirement.
- Any guest without a mask will be able to purchase one at the front gate.
Strictly Enforced Social Distancing
- Easy to identify distance markers will be added in all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines.
- Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties.
- Guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all roller coasters, rides, and attractions.
- Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe game play. Arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements.
- Advanced security screenings will enable touchless bag checks
- Capacity at indoor venues will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements.
- Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.
Extensive Sanitization and Disinfecting Protocols
- Trained and dedicated cleaning teams have been put in place.
- Increased sanitization and disinfecting of high touch points including all public seating, tabletops, counters, doors, and trash cans will occur frequently.
- Rides, restraints, and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day.
- Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall and sink area on a frequent basis.
- Multiple hand-washing and alcohol-based hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park.
- All team member work areas will be regularly sanitized and disinfected.
Sanitized Food Preparation and Service
- Modified menus and implementation of mobile food ordering will help facilitate touchless transactions.
- Self-service buffets and salad bars will be reconfigured to eliminate guest contact with food.
- Condiments, self-serve cutlery, and napkins will be provided to guests with their meals as required.
- Beverages will be served by attendants, and guests will receive any drink bottle refills in a paper cup each time they refill.
Commercial-Grade Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
- All employees will be issued Team Member Action Packs which will include: a safety face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves.
- Low pressure backpack sprayers will be utilized for disinfecting large areas.
- Abundant supplies of sanitizers and disinfectants will be available.
- Microfiber cloths will be used to sanitize surfaces.
- Queue line supplies, fencing, and tents will be in place to promote safe social distancing.
Multi-Layered Guest and Team Member Communication
- Front line team members will go through extensive COVID-19 training.
- Safety messaging and reminders on Six Flags’ website, newsletters, in-park announcements, and recorded phone messages will occur frequently.
- Distance markers and physical distance indicators will be in place.
- Informational safety signage is posted throughout the park.
- Handouts outlining guest screening processes and safety procedures will be distributed at the Toll Plaza.
Park Reservations System to Manage Attendance
Six Flags New England will be operating under state and local guidelines for crowd capacity limits. The park has established attendance caps that will be well below the park’s theoretical capacity in order to allow for proper social distancing. All Members, Season Pass holders and all guests with a single-day or group ticket will need to make a reservation at www.sixflags.com/reserve. The process will take 5-7 minutes, and guests will complete the following steps:
- Enter their online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number.
- Select the day and the approximate time they want to visit.
- Watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitation procedures.
- Acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy.
- Order pre-paid parking, if they do not already have a parking pass.
More information about Six Flags New England and its COVID-19 safety procedures can be found on its website here.