Apple picking, hayrides, haunted houses and more are allowed in the Hudson Valley and across New York with new COVID-19 related rules.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new state guidance for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the fall season.

The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York's NY Forward guidance

"New York State's amazing outdoor attractions and recreational opportunities are a boon for families and communities during the fall season each year, and we want New Yorkers to be able to enjoy this time with their family responsibly and safely," Cuomo said. "The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies."

The businesses that can reopen are subject to Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment and Public Transportation guidance. The guidance includes, but is not limited to:

 Corn Mazes - permitted consistent with Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

 Hayrides - permitted consistent with Public Transportation guidance and the following conditions:

  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Social distance required between individuals/parties
  • Frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, cleaned and sanitized between rides

 Pick-Your-Own Fruit/Vegetables Operations - permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance is maintained between individuals/parties.

 Haunted Houses - permitted consistent with Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

 Petting zoos are not allowed in New York, as of this writing. 

The Headless Horseman Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park will be replacing their haunted hayride and houses this fall season with a "Drive-Thru Haunted Experience and a Walk Thru Corn Maze."

"As one of the nation's top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest—from apples to grapes to pumpkins. This year, while things may not look exactly the same on your favorite farm, I am happy to say we can still celebrate agriculture's bounty and the many family-friendly activities that go with it. With this new guidance, we hope New Yorkers will be able to enjoy some of the best of New York agriculture in a safe and socially distanced manner," State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. 

New Yorkers can also visit the State's farmers' markets and craft beverage trails, which have remained open under State guidance, supporting agriculture and tourism in the state.  The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued a full slate of guidelines for the agricultural industry, including guidance for farmers' markets and for its food and beverage producers. All guidance can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.