The reopening and mitigation guidelines below are part of Restore Chester County's Business & Org Toolkit and apply to the entertainment & tourism sector.
Click on each key topic below to find best practices for this sector compiled from federal, state and county guidelines and vetted by state and local health departments, businesses and municipalities. In addition, the chart provided here is an overview of Pennsylvania regulations for reopening through the red, yellow and green phases as they compare to CDC regulations. Leaders from Chester County's various sectors have indicated that these are the topics of highest concern at this point. We welcome your feedback as we continue to make updates.
These materials and any related updates are provided and intended for general public informational purposes and guidance. While intended to be timely and accurate, please note that federal and state regulations and directives are changing often. To that extent, please continue to monitor this site for any significant modifications and developments.
Employer Tips and Guidelines +
Attraction/venue capacity should be reduced/managed to allow for appropriate social distancing.
Guests should move through attractions in a continuous manner (not sitting in a single location, elbow-to-elbow for an extended period) so exposure time is limited; social distancing should be enforced if guests are not moving.
A large percentage of attraction attendance should be made up of family members and others living in the same home.
Acknowledge that certain carriers of COVID-19 show no symptoms. Ensure everyone is protected.
Communicate health guidelines in front-of-house areas for guests and behind-the-scenes areas for employees.
Employees and guests should practice effective hand hygiene including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, they should use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
Provide hand washing/sanitizing stations throughout the attraction and in employee areas.
Place plexiglass or other types of barriers to reduce direct contact between guests and staff wherever practical (payment stations/front desk areas particularly).
Use markings and signage to indicate social distancing parameters.
First Aid protocols should address how to manage guests or employees who experience COVID-19 symptoms while onsite. If First Aid is staffed internally, provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Deep clean and sanitize locations visited by a guest or employee with COVID-19 symptoms.
Face coverings should be worn whenever people are within 6 feet of each other.
Workers should avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
For additional support, the Chester County Health Department can be reached at 610-344-6225.
It is important to understand and communicate to employees that they have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
Provide pre-opening training to employees to ensure they understand and feel confident managing the social distancing and hygiene aspects of their roles:
When to stay away from the workplace
What action to take if they become unwell
What symptoms to be concerned about
Consistently monitor employee wellness and do not let anyone symptomatic report to work. Revisit your leave or sick program to allow for this time off.
Employees who monitor their temperature at home should update their supervisor if they have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and stay home.
Review and update sick leave policies as needed. Make sure policies don't inadvertently encourage employees to come to work when sick.
Sick employees should not return to work until they are symptom free for 72 hours. Encourage them to seek medical advice if they have a fever (above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.
Consider operating only with essential personnel; others should work from home.
Consider employee rotation cycles to keep work teams together to reduce interactions with different groups of employees.
Alternate break schedules so employees aren't taking breaks at the same times/locations.
Employees should not share equipment. If equipment must be shared, employees should wash/sanitize their hands before and after use.
Reevaluate procedures and policies for washing shared uniforms, props, and miscellaneous items to ensure proper sanitation. Laundry should be cleaned in accordance with government health authority guidelines.
Outside contractors and concessionaires should follow the same policies, procedures, and protocols as employees.
Employees should be trained on how to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
If an employee's temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the individual should be given a mask and moved to an isolated area for further evaluation.
Evaluate which parts of facilities are high-touch areas and sanitize frequently. The frequency of and approach to sanitizing should be based on the guidelines provided on the cleaning chemicals which should be determined based on the surface being cleaned. Make sure virus kill times/drying times are considered carefully prior to reopening an area for guest access.
Consider appropriate posters in hand-washing areas, detailing good hand-washing practices.
If venue has lockers, close or rotate certain sections to allow for appropriate physical distancing as needed. Sanitize lockers between each use.
Create restroom capacity to comply with social distancing requirements and post high-profile signage.
Restroom capacity should comply with social distancing requirements.
Consider dedicating employees to cleaning/disinfecting restrooms frequently.
Be extra vigilant with cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing protocols.
Establish a frequency schedule and document processes and procedures to ensure they are effective.
Pay extra attention to high-touch surfaces in restrooms including doorknobs/door handles, trash receptacle touchpoints, countertops, benches, toilets, faucet and toilet handles, soap dispenser push plates, baby changing stations, towel dispenser handles, and light switches.
Encourage guests to make purchases online or from apps once inside the attraction/event to minimize on-site payment transactions.
Try to arrange credit card readers so guests can insert/swipe their own credit cards, to avoid employee handling.
Assign one person to each point of sale if possible. Sanitize between users and after each shift.
When cash handling is required, employees should wash or sanitize their hands frequently.
Signage with health and hygiene reminders should be visible throughout the property. Consider communicating COVID-19 operational procedures to guests prior to arrival by including information on the business's website:
Identify COVID-19 symptoms and recommend that guests come back another day if they or anyone in their party is experiencing symptoms.
Share mandated and recommended safety requirements.
Remind guests of social distancing requirements.
Describe possible capacity limits to facilitate social distancing.
Illustrate enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols. Signs should be placed in restrooms to remind guests of appropriate hand-washing standards (soap, water, 20 seconds).
Rides and Attractions
Attractions may also consider doing some combination of sanitizing guests' hands and sanitizing ride surfaces.
Conduct height safety checks according to existing protocol to ensure they are accurate. Consider a centralized height check location to limit employee and guest contact.
Adjust queue, waiting areas, and pre-show to allow for proper social distancing. Mark the floor, utilize audio announcements and/or add signage to denote the appropriate 6 feet of social distance space between parties of immediate family members (caretakers, household members, and romantic partners).
To maintain side-to-side distance, some switchback queue lanes may need to be closed.
Adjust seating to comply with social distancing requirement. Examples include seating every other ride vehicle, limiting capacity on a ride to allow for space between groups, etc.
Employees should avoid physically assisting guests. If a guest needs assistance, ask another member of their party to help.
Attractions should consider eliminating single-rider lines as they are typically designed to fill open seats with members from different parties.
Educate customers with appropriate signage to only touch what they intend to purchase.
Allow guests to put purchased items into shopping bags themselves.
Place hand sanitizing/washing stations in any games and arcades areas.
All games, game components, props, counters, seats, and playing fields should be properly sanitized and cleaned throughout the day.
Players should be spaced to allow for proper social distancing. Immediate family members, caretakers, household members, and romantic partners need only follow social distancing requirements from other guests.
Attractions should consider adding physical barriers between players and between players and employees where practical.
Machines in any games/arcade areas should be placed to allow for 6 feet of social distancing. Where necessary, some machines can be turned off or otherwise deactivated to keep guests from using machines which can't easily be relocated.
For mini golf courses, implement methods to reduce number of surfaces guests touch frequently. Consider modifications to holes, flag sticks, obstacles etc. as needed. Sanitize balls, putters, and pencils after each use.
Conveying Information to Patrons
If small events and venues can reopen without increasing COVID-19 transmission rates, it will open the door for progressively larger spaces to implement similar measures on a larger scale in the future. If, on the other hand, the first attempt at a safe reopening is a failure, that could set back the entire event industry. Here are some ways to reach patrons before they arrive at your point of ingress.
For the venue, event, or artist, the more prominently new rules and expectations are displayed, the more serious businesses will appear about enforcing them, which will tend to gain greater compliance. Display information about new rules on venue/event/artist webpage or social media.
Ticket purchasing sites should link to health and safety rules. Online ticket purchases can require patrons to check a box affirming that they have read and agree to comply with posted rules, the way one affirms that one is not a robot before making an online purchase.
Emails and push notifications reminding patrons of health rules and expectations can be sent at regular intervals from date of purchase through day of show.
Mobile apps are already a valuable means of giving patrons directions to the venue, show times, artist bios, and merchandise options. You can add health rules and expectations to the information on every patron's phone.
Signage leading to and at the event site can be effective as a further reminder, especially if it is visually attractive and located where patrons are likely to be standing still or moving slowly. Physical signs are particularly important for ticketless events or where young participants will be brought by their parents.
Event registration and badge check-in are excellent places to post health rules and model compliance at conferences or other events where patrons check in. Registration materials can be placed by workers or volunteers on a table to be picked up by event attendees, and lines can be marked on the floor or created by rope and stanchions to enforce social distancing.
Consider having guest services staff walking along lines at an appropriate distance to put a face to health rules and model good behavior.
Parking lot operators should ensure spaces between vehicles are blocked off to ensure social distancing.
Consider a staggered entry in order to minimize lines for bag check and ticket scanning. Virtual queuing can help manage this process.
Events with a specific start time could schedule patron arrival times.
During the ticketing process, patrons could select their ingress time and location, which can be coordinated with public transportation or rideshare vehicles.
A limited number of unscheduled entries is recommended to accommodate patrons stuck in traffic or physically unable to sit in a seat for a long time.
Will Call and Box Office windows are often protected by glass partitions. Where there are no physical barriers between ticket staff and patrons, a clear protective shield is recommended.
Patron distancing can be preserved by opening fewer windows and marking appropriate queuing space, or consider eliminating on-site ticket purchase and accepting only electronic tickets by advance purchase.
Venues where space outdoors is limited or whose entrance is in a densely settled area may need to arrange with neighboring properties and public safety authorities to allow early-arriving patrons to wait on adjacent streets. If an ingress queue consistent with social distancing would cause the line to extend into a road or pedestrian walkway, consult with local public safety authorities to determine where to safely queue patrons while preserving emergency access.
Even during a pandemic, it is important to keep prohibited items out of the venue. To avoid touching personal items, consider enforcing a small clear bag policy (having patrons open their own bags for inspection) or prohibiting bags, although exceptions will likely be necessary for medicine or personal hygiene products.
Walk-through magnetometers are effective at detecting metallic objects while allowing social distancing. Hand wands still allow no-contact metal detection but require employees to be closer than 6 feet. Pat-downs are least sanitary. Venues may deny admission to patrons who repeatedly activate the magnetometer rather than putting hands on patrons. Any worker conducting a pat-down search MUST wear a face covering and gloves and have access to a wash and sanitizing station.
Electronic tickets can be scanned by ticket-takers wearing face coverings and gloves, or patrons could check themselves in at self-service kiosks outside the health and security screening area.
Security workers/ticket takers should wear face coverings and gloves at all times.
After events that have a definite end such as concerts/sporting events, patrons nearest the exits should leave first, by row or section (similar to exiting an airplane).
Consider how to manage emergency exit plans while also enforcing social distancing.
At seated events, eliminate enough seats to at least meet the 6-feet parameter. Consider further spacing.
At general admission events, separate patrons using physical barriers, markings and signage, and patrolling employees. Remind patrons with messaging before and during the event through electronic messaging and physical signage, and messaging by the performer during the event.
Consider eliminating any intermissions or carefully controlling the process to enforce safety.
In any dining areas, electronic ordering should be enforced (patrons can be notified by text when food is ready) and seating should be separated. Patrons should exit food and beverage areas in a different direction than the way they entered.
Stagger mealtimes. For both front-of-house patrons and back-of-house workers, mealtimes can be staggered to ensure that queues and dining capacity are kept to safe levels of density.
Workers must manage lines at quick-service areas, such as coffee and food pick-up, to ensure that patrons remain appropriately distanced. If queues get too long or take up too much space, consider opening additional service or pick-up areas at other parts of the venue.
Items for sale can be posted on a web site or event app that allows for mobile ordering and on-site pickup.
No trying on merchandise. Only workers may touch items for sale.
No returns or exchanges for any merchandise. All sales are final.
Site visits and venue tours for marketing/booking should be replaced by virtual tours. Companies seeking to book a space should prepare to submit a health and safety plan consistent with these guidelines regarding the risks particular to their event.
The 6-feet guidance should be expanded for musicians. Musicians often breathe deeply and expel aerosols further.
Production equipment should be sanitized when loaded and unloaded.
How Employees Can Protect Themselves +
Self-monitor your temperature every morning. Employees who have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should stay home and notify their supervisor.
Employees should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Employees who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
Practice effective hand hygiene including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
When possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other individuals.
Cover coughs or sneezes with a sleeve or elbow, not hands. Do not shake hands.
Regularly clean high-contact surface areas.
Wear protective masks/face coverings.
If an Employee Tests Positive +
If the individual receives a positive test notification while at work, follow established Human Resources policy. If the individual receives a positive test notification while NOT at work, the individual should follow established Human Resources policy, stay home and self-isolate in accordance with Chester County Health Department guidance.
Determine who had contact with the positive individual during the time the individual had symptoms as well as 48 hours prior to symptoms. Notify employees who were in close contact with the confirmed individual while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
People who had close contact must self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact with the positive individual.
"Close contact" is defined as having contact for more than 15 minutes, at a distance of 6 feet or less, with a positive individual.
Individuals may discontinue home isolation and return to work under the following conditions:
At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since your fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medication
AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
AND At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
After returning to work, individuals should:
Wear a facemask at all times while at work until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer.
Be restricted from contact with individuals at a higher risk (e.g., older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness).
AND At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette (e.g., cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles).
Self-monitor for symptoms. Seek immediate re-evaluation from occupational health/primary care provider and do not work if symptoms recur or worsen.
The Chester County Health Department will be notified of all confirmed cases through established disease reporting protocols and will follow-up with the individual appropriately. Contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225.
Supporting Customers and Clients +
If you or any member of your party is not feeling well, do not visit.
People 65 years and older and people with underlying medical conditions should keep their distance from others.Practice effective hand hygiene including washing hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue. Throw tissue into a trash receptacle after use and wash hands.
Wear protective face coverings, especially when within 6 feet of another individual.
Be flexible with delays due to new cleaning/health protocols.
Follow social distancing guidelines carefully, maintaining 6 feet of space from others. Immediate family members and others who live in the same household can be closer together.
Be flexible with reduced capacity or closed events and attractions.
Along with best practices outlined here and in our Business Toolkit, individual business and organization sectors will be following further guidance. Click below to learn more on how they're preparing.