HAMBURG, N.Y. — Following the announcement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that fairs can open this summer, the Erie County Fair announced it will move forward with the 2021 edition of the fair scheduled for August 11-22.
Cuomo said all county fairs will be allowed to open this summer with capacity restrictions. Fairs will still need to get approval from the state and local departments of health.
"Fairs and festivals are huge economic generators for communities across the state, and last year they were all put on hold due to the COVID pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "As more New Yorkers get vaccinated and we continue to keep the positivity and hospitalization rates down, we are readjusting our reopening strategy and allowing more events and attractions to resume. This new guidance will allow our county fairs and local festivals to open at the greatest capacity possible so they can remain economically viable, while still ensuring public health and safety."
The governor's office says, in addition to capacity limits, other restrictions will be in place:
• Attendee Contact Information: Fairs and festivals should encourage at least one attendee from each party to sign in during ticketing, or before or immediately upon entering the event space, providing their name, address and phone number for use in potential contact tracing efforts.
• Health Screening: Fairs and festivals must implement health screening for all individuals including questions on any COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts, recent positive COVID-19 test result, and compliance with State's travel advisory. Screening may be performed via signage, at ticket purchase, by e-mail/website, by telephone, or by electronic survey before individuals enter the event space.
• Hand Hygiene: Fairs and festivals must provide hand washing stations or hand sanitizing supplies for common areas and areas where hand washing facilities may not be available or practical.
• Cleaning and Disinfection: Fairs and festivals must regularly clean and disinfect, focusing on high-traffic areas, such as restrooms, and frequently touched surfaces, such as service counters and seats.
• Communication: Fairs and festivals must post signage informing attendees of health precautions (e.g., social distancing, masks, hand hygiene) and distance markers indicating six-foot spaces in areas where lines form or people congregate, unless all attendees are fully vaccinated.
• Applicable Guidance: Fairs and festivals should consult the State's guidance for their specific activities and attractions, such as performing arts and entertainment, amusement and family entertainment, food and beverage service, retail and market service, agricultural activities and sports and recreation.
Erie County Fair officials say they will have more details in the coming days with more specific details.
Last week, Fair officials produced a consultants report, which concluded that the fair could be held safely without causing a rise in COVID-19 cases even at full capacity, by the time it is scheduled to occur begging August 11.