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Coronavirus: Montreal amusement centres remain open despite closures to schools, gyms, libraries and more

Amusement centres remain open despite other closures in Montreal. Yohan Hache / Global News

While schools, libraries and other facilities are closed due to COVID-19, some amusement centres for children remain open.

Amusement facilities such as Skytag in Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Woohoo and ZigZagZoo in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Skyzone in Dorval say they are staying open.

Some birthday parties have already been cancelled while others are going ahead as planned. While last-minute cancellations are understandable, some amusement centres say they won’t shut down.

“Right now, in the face of adversity, I think it’s important not to panic,” said Danielle Delannoy, general manager of Skytag. “In order to keep these children happy and hopeful and celebrating their milestone, we’re going to continue with their parties.”

READ MORE: Montreal closes sports and cultural centres amid coronavirus concerns

The company has made it a habit to regularly clean and sanitize the equipment, Delannoy said, and in light of COVID-19 — they’re stepping it up.

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“No child can play laser tag with just one hand, they must have both hands on the laser, therefore the only thing they’re touching is the disinfected laser and they put it away and go straight to the hallway where we ask them to wash their hands,” Delannoy told Global News.

The amusement centres Global News spoke with say they have systems in place to make sure cleanliness remains the main priority. They will be cleaning all equipment and surfaces on an hourly basis.

SkyTag employees have been given the choice to work or not, without penalty. Those who choose to work will also be reminded to wash their hands as soon as they arrive and to continue washing regularly.

“We’re constantly reminding them to sanitize, here’s your bottle of water, make sure you take a sip or two,” said Delannoy.

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READ MORE: Quebec to shutter daycares, schools, post-secondary institutions for 2 weeks due to coronavirus

The SkyTag in DDO is limiting its capacity to 75 people. Woohoo, ZigZagZoo and other amusement facilities are staying open and accepting birthday parties in small gatherings and respecting the provincial guideline that only gatherings with under 250 people can be held.

They all have signs in place reminding people to wash their hands and stay home if they’re sick. If health officials tell them to close, they say they’re ready to cease all operations.

Funtropolis, an amusement centre chain in Laval and St-Hubert have closed their doors for a week. According to a spokesperson, the centre plans on updating the situation next Friday, March 20.

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