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Six Flags Makes Masks Mandatory for Guests, Employees, Other Safety Measures Announced

All guests to all Six Flags parks will be asked to follow new health protocols this summer

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Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News

If you're planning a visit to either Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor or any other Six Flags park this summer, you'll likely want to know about steps the parks are taking to improve health safety including requiring guests to wear facial coverings and schedule their arrival times.

The masks requirement and scheduled arrivals are only some of a number of new enhancements designed to keep guests and employees safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The parks said Tuesday they're rolling out an online reservation system to manage attendance and schedule the arrival of guests by day and hour to minimize proximity exposure among parkgoers. After scheduling their visit to the park, guests will be contacted electronically the day before to confirm their arrival time and that they are still healthy. Park capacity is being dropped to allow for proper social distancing and preference with booking visits will be given to pass holders by member level over holders of single-day or group tickets.

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Once at the park, employees will use contactless infrared thermal imaging equipment to screen the temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry into the park. All individuals will also be asked about their health status. Those without masks to cover their mouth and nose will be required to either buy one at the front gate or put on one if they wish to enter. While masks will be required at the water park, Six Flags said exceptions will be made on some rides or attractions, but did not specify which ones in their FAQ.

Six Flags did say some accommodations may be made on a case-by-case basis for those with disabilities or health or religious concerns that may prevent them from wearing a mask. Deviations from the park's new policy will be made at the park's discretion.

While in the park, social and physical distancing will be strictly enforced. The company said they've added distance markers at the park's entrance and at all rides, restrooms, retail locations and dining lines. Seating at the restaurants is being modified to allow ample room between guests and an option for touchless, mobile ordering and transactions are now available.

On rides and attractions, capacity will be reduced and guests will be separated by empty rows or seats. Where games are being played, a marker will show where those watching the action can safely stand.

Employees at the park are going to undergo extensive COVID-19 training and will be issued personal protective equipment including a safety mask, safety glasses and disposable gloves.

Six Flags said Tuesday they will reopen "when it is safe to do so, upon clearance from the governor’s office in conjunction with state and local health officials."

Six Flags Frontier City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is opening June 5. The parks have not said when Six Flags Over Texas or Hurricane Harbor will reopen, however, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Tuesday saying water parks could resume operations with 25% capacity on Friday.

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