RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina State Fair announced its COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for this year’s fair on Wednesday morning — and neither masks nor vaccinations will be required.
The N.C. State Fair sent a news release this morning saying that the fair this year “will look different from any other time you’ve visited.”
When the fair opens on Oct. 14 it will have been 718 days since the last time the State Fair was operating, but the policies won’t be too much different than in years past.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that is still with us, the State Fair will not require guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and there will be no requirement that anyone show a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to get in.
“Vaccination is the most effective way for us to get to the other side of this pandemic,” the release read. “While we will not require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test for admission to the fair, we strongly encourage everyone to go out and get vaccinated.”
Face coverings are also not a requirement for visiting this year’s fair.
Fair officials said that since the “number one thing people tell us they come to the fair for is food,” it would be “extremely difficult…to enforce a mask mandate.”
Guests however are urged to wear a face covering except when eating and drinking.
Disposable face masks will be available for those who wish to wear a mask but forgot to bring one.
Although masks are not required at the fair, because of federal COVID-19 safety protocols, anyone riding public transportation to the fair will be required to wear a mask while en route.
Officials are also encouraging visitors to social distance and wash their hands.
“We’ve spread out our vendors and some of our carnival rides this year and added more space around picnic tables and benches to better aid social distancing,” according to the news release.
Outdoor hand washing stations will be placed throughout the fairgrounds in addition to the restrooms already there, and hand sanitizer will be available at guest services and “at many of the food booths, rides and exhibits.”
To read the N.C. State Fair’s full health and safety guidance, including public safety rules, click here.