New York releases guidelines for corn mazes, hayrides, haunted houses; petting zoos not allowed

Recreation

NEW YORK (WETM) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new state guidance Tuesday for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the Fall season.

The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York’s NY Forward guidance, according to the Governor’s office.

Corn Mazes – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

Hayrides – permitted consistent with Public Transportation guidance and the following conditions:

  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Social distance required between individuals/parties
  • Frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, cleaned and sanitized between rides

Pick-Your-Own Fruit/Vegetables Operations – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties.

Haunted Houses – permitted consistent with Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

Petting zoos are not permitted, while farmers’ markets and craft beverage trails are allowed to remain open.

“New York State’s amazing outdoor attractions and recreational opportunities are a boon for families and communities during the fall season each year, and we want New Yorkers to be able to enjoy this time with their family responsibly and safely,” Governor Cuomo said. “The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “As one of the nation’s top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest—from apples to grapes to pumpkins. This year, while things may not look exactly the same on your favorite farm, I am happy to say we can still celebrate agriculture’s bounty and the many family-friendly activities that go with it. With this new guidance, we hope New Yorkers will be able to enjoy some of the best of New York agriculture in a safe and socially distanced manner.” 

All guidance can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.

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