YOUNGSTOWN – Visitors will be allowed to return to Old Fort Niagara starting Friday.
Representatives from the fort announced plans on Wednesday to reopen under recommended health and social-distancing guidelines following the attraction's 15-week closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daily hours of operation have been shortened from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow for extra cleaning before and after hours.
Capacity will be capped at 25 percent in indoor spaces, such as the Visitor Center, museum, and historic buildings. Staff will monitor building capacity and encourage visitors to tour the fort grounds in a clockwise direction to reduce the chances of groups overlapping. Hourly musket and living-history demonstrations and seasonal food service will resume under commonly accepted health and social-distancing standards.
“We are really happy that we can welcome visitors back and do so in a safe way for them and our staff,” said Robert Emerson, executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. “Old Fort Niagara is an open, spacious and scenic site where people can easily keep their distances. Even still, we are taking extra measures to keep indoor areas open and clean because the health and safety of our visitors and staff are our first priorities.”
Visitors are reminded that if they are sick that they should not enter the fort and encourage their family members not to enter until they are all well. Visitors are also being asked to wear face coverings while visiting the fort as per New York state law and to maintain a minimum 6-foot social distance while on the fort's grounds.
Representatives from the fort also noted that visitors are expected to do their part to protect their own health by washing their hands often and avoiding touching of their face and the touching of surfaces.
For more information about Old Fort Niagara’s complete safety plan, visit www.oldfortniagara.org/visitor-information.