The Department of Health’s (DOH) Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has been updated to provide the below guidance for bowling centers and alleys.

For bowling centers and alleys, Responsible Parties must follow these additional public health and safety measures

– Restrict facility capacity to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons/players;

– Require face coverings at all times for patrons/players;

Strictly enforce social distancing of at least six feet between parties of patrons/players, including during play by closing adjacent bowling lanes or enacting appropriate physical barriers between lanes;

-Ensure patrons/players interact only with their party at their assigned lane (i.e., no comingling of parties);

– Rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment (e.g., bowling balls, bowling shoes) between each patron’s/player’s or party’s use;

– Limit the number of patrons/players to any event at the facility to no more than the current social gathering restrictions that are in effect for the region as a part of the State’s phased reopening (i.e., 50 or fewer people in Phase 4 regions, as of August 15, 2020); and

– Adhere to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” and all other applicable state-issued guidance (e.g., State Liquor Authority) for food and beverage service on the premise of the facility; provided, however, that indoor food and beverage service remains prohibited in New York City until further notice, as of August 15, 2020.

Further, Responsible Parties of bowling centers and alleys may consider these additional public health and safety measures:

– Encourage patron/player visits be made in advance by reservation only, where practical.

– Consider measures to reduce interpersonal contact and congregation, such as:

  •    “blocking off” operating times to allow for enhanced cleaning and disinfection;
  •    implementing “sign-up” policies, so patrons/players only play during their allotted time; and/or
  •    offering “equipment valets” where employees retrieve equipment for patrons/players (e.g., employees retrieve bowling balls from rack for use);

– Post signage and issue audio reminders for patrons/players to clean and disinfect equipment before and after use;

– Impose reasonable limits on rentals of facility owned equipment (e.g., a single individual may only use one bowling ball for the duration of the patron’s/player’s play); and/or

– Encourage patrons/players to bring and use their own equipment (e.g., bowling balls).