Should I go to an amusement park?

As amusement parks reopen in some areas, you may be wondering if it’s safe to visit. COVID-19 mainly spreads person-to-person through droplets when people cough, sneeze, sing, shout, or even just talk. Though being outside is safer than being inside, being in a crowd with lots of strangers waiting for a ride can increase your risk of getting sick.  

You should consider a few things when making your decision:  

  • The number of people who are allowed in the park. The more people that are in the park, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So you should consider parks that take reservations or limit the number of visitors per day.
  •  The level of COVID-19 in the community. The higher the level of COVID-19 in a community, the higher your risk of catching it. If the park is in an area with high rates of COVID-19, you should probably skip the amusement park visit for now.
  • Park policies on mask wearing and distancing. Many parks have mandatory mask requirements for all guests and employees. Parks may also require spacing on rides and while waiting in lines. The CDC has provided guidance to parks on ways to reduce risk.  Be sure to check specific rules on masks. Some parks such as Disney require masks of at least two layers that must be secured with ties or earloops.
  • Whether you or a family member have a health condition that increases your risk. If you or a family member are at higher risk from complications from COVID, then it’s probably not a good idea to go to an amusement park. (And you can bring COVID home, so maybe better to skip it even if the person with the health condition isn’t coming.)

If you decide to visit an amusement park, here are some tips to reduce your risk:

  • Maintain spacing of at least 6 feet while you wait in lines or are in other areas with groups of people. Skip crowded rides, eating areas, play areas, or gathering spots where it may be difficult to distance. 
  • Avoid crowded park transportation like monorails or buses if possible.
  • Stay outside.
  • Wear a face covering at all times except when stopping to eat or drink.
  • Choose outdoor dining. Replace your mask as soon as you are done eating and drinking. Some parks require that you be seated while eating or drinking to stop visitors from walking around with masks off.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently during the day.
  • Skip activities like carnival games that require you to touch shared objects that may not be regularly cleaned.
  • Use touch free payment options if possible.

So it’s probably best to save that amusement park trip for another year.  But if you do decide to go,  remember to avoid crowds, keep physical distancing, wear face coverings, and wash hands.

Last update: August 6, 2020 6:45 pm
Science review: JAB, GSN