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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey releases guidelines for casinos, movie theaters to reopen

Chicken and waffles? AMC adds 10 snacks to menu
Posted at 2:44 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 21:16:11-04

PHOENIX — As Arizona's stay-at-home order is set to expire on Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has given the OK for casinos and movie theaters to reopen, as long as they have rules in place to encourage social distancing and protect employees and guests from COVID-19.

Over the last two weeks, restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barbershops, massage therapists, stores, and pools have been allowed to reopen, part of the governor's phased-in approach to reopening the state.

Related: Here are the guidelines to reopen pools in Arizona

A handful of casinos opened Friday, including Gila River's Lone Butte, Vee Quiva, and Wild Horse Pass casinos, Fort McDowell, and Harrah's Ak-Chin Pavilion, which had dozens of people lined up Friday morning waiting to get in.

Movie theaters, however, are not reopening that fast.

Harkins, Roadhouse Cinemas, and Cinemark Theatres have said that they anticipate opening over the summer, potentially June or July for some. Others, like Flix Brewhouse in Chandler and Pollack Tempe Cinema in Tempe, are still determining how and when to reopen safely.

AMC has not announced their plans and the three Arizona locations for Alamo Drafthouse filed for bankruptcy protection this week.

Here are the guidelines for movie theaters to reopen:

FOR PEOPLE

• Stay home if you are feeling sick
• Stay at least 6 feet away from other patrons.
• If you are at higher risk for severe illness, you should avoid visiting theaters. People
at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who
have serious underlying medical conditions.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad).
If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer immediately
after.
• After leaving the theater, use hand sanitizer. When you get home, wash your hands
with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

FOR MOVIE THEATERS

• Maintain physical distancing, to the extent possible.
• Provide and require employees to wear masks when possible.
• Provide access to soap and water for handwashing or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at
stations around the theater for use by employees and clients. Require employees to regularly
wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
• Operate with reduced occupancy with special attention to limiting areas where customers and
employees can congregate.
• Consider scheduling staggered showtimes to prevent congregating in waiting areas.
• Consider spacing out seating for those who are not in the same party to at least six feet apart
when possible; consider limiting seating to alternate rows.
• Wipe any pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use or customer.
• Implement comprehensive sanitation protocols, leaving extra time to sanitize in between
showings.
• Implement symptom screening for employees prior to the start of their shift.
• Arrange concession areas and break rooms to provide for appropriate physical distancing and
sanitize areas regularly between use.
• Concession areas should:
• Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces, food preparation surfaces, and
beverage equipment after use.
• Avoid using or sharing items such as condiments, butter dispensers, popcorn
flavorings, and any other food. Instead, use single serving condiments, and
no-touch trash cans and doors.
• Consider not providing alcohol other than at a concession area with clean glasses.
• Consider posting signs advising customers and employees of expectations and guidance.
• Train all employees in the above safety actions.
• For theaters that offer on-premise child care:
• ADHS recommends avoiding gatherings if physical distancing of at least 6 feet
between people who don’t live together cannot be maintained.
• If on-premise child care must be provided:
• Limit the number of children to prevent transmission.
• Maintain physical distancing.
• Implementing symptom screening of staff AND participants, especially
children who might not be capable of staying at least 6 feet apart from
people they don’t live with.
• Staggering drop-off and pick-up times, as much as possible, to maintain
distance of at least 6 feet between people who don’t live together.
• Discourage the sharing of equipment such as toys and supplies with those
they don’t live with.
• Ask parents to consider if their children are capable of staying at least 6 feet
apart from people they don’t live with before taking them to a public venue.
• Follow the CDC guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open

All of the casinos who reopened Friday previously announced their social distancing plans, which included using Plexiglas dividers to separate slot machines and to protect people at Blackjack. Some casinos have temporarily closed their bingo and poker rooms. Others have established cleaning crews to disinfect machines after someone uses them.

Here are the guidelines for casinos to reopen.

FOR PEOPLE

• Stay home if sick.
• Protect yourself while visiting casinos:
• Stay at least 6 feet away from other patrons.
• If you are at higher risk for severe illness, you should avoid visiting casinos. People at
higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who
have serious underlying medical conditions.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad).
If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer immediately
after.
• Consider using hand sanitizer or washing hands with soap and water between slot
machines or tables.
• After leaving the casinos, use hand sanitizer. When you get home, wash your hands
with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

FOR THE CASINOS

• Maintain physical distancing, to the extent possible.
• Provide and require employees and customers to wear masks when possible.
• Provide access to soap and water for handwashing or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at
stations around the casino for use by employees and clients. Require employees to regularly
wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
• Operate with reduced occupancy with special attention to limiting areas where customers and
employees can congregate.
• Consider spacing out slot machines and tables and spacing out chairs to provide physical
distancing between customers.
• Wipe any pens, stampers, counters, electronic gaming devices and other hard surfaces
between use or customer.
• Bingo players should be encouraged to bring their own stampers or consider single
use stampers.
• Implement comprehensive cleaning and sanitation protocols, focusing on high touch areas.
• All slot machines, tables and kiosks should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular schedule.
• Consider placing disinfecting wipes at slot machines, tables, and kiosks and encourage
customers to wipe equipment (handles, buttons, trays, seats, etc) down before they start and
after they finish playing.
• Implement symptom screening for employees prior to the start of their shift.
• Consider posting signs advising customers and employees of expectations and guidance.
• Restaurants within casinos should follow the restaurant guidance provided by the Arizona
Department of Health Services and the CDC, including avoiding instances where customers
serve their own food.
• Theaters/show venues within casinos should follow the theater guidance provided by the
Arizona Department of Health Services and the CDC.
• Drink attendants should wash hands after picking up used glasses and should avoid picking up
used glasses while serving customers.
• Train all employees in the above safety actions.
• For Active Game tables:
• An active game table should operate between two closed tables, where possible
• Consider limiting the number of people at a table, with unoccupied seats in between.
• Do not allow non-playing customers to cluster or stand at the table or behind
seated players.
• Limit community sharing or passing items, such as chips, tiles, etc.
• Provide hand sanitizer on tables of hand dealt games, or consider requiring
players and dealers to use gloves and require glove changes /use of hand
sanitizer in between hands or rounds.
• Consider changing cards and chips as frequently as possible.
• Consider symptom screening of dealers and customers before participating in active table
games. For poker, bingo or other specific game rooms, limit the capacity of the room to ensure
appropriate physical distancing or consider closing the rooms to gaming.