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City of Albuquerque Prepared for Capacity Restrictions to be Lifted

City departments, facilities, programs return to pre-COVID operations in July.

June 29, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rael, and City officials held a briefing on the City’s plan for lifted COVID restrictions at the end of June. As of July 1st, capacity restrictions on businesses and public spaces will lift and City Department services, programs, and facilities will resume operation at pre-pandemic levels.

“This is a milestone for Albuquerque and a reflection of the hard work Burqueños have put in to turning the corner on this virus,” said Mayor Keller. “Albuquerque has been a leader in the Southwest, remaining one of the healthiest cities throughout the pandemic. Now we have a new distinction; we’re ready to open quickly and safely.”

The City of Albuquerque has closely tracked its progress through the State of New Mexico’s color-tiered system and has been preparing for the end of capacity restrictions since the criteria was announced by the State in April. Following the City’s reopening plan, departments have increased their facility capacities, operations, and in-person staffing levels as the metro area has progressed through the Public Health Order’s tiered system.

“The City of Albuquerque stepped up to continue and increase many services during the pandemic. We knew how important access to green space, meals, and youth programming were to families,” said Lawrence Rael, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Albuquerque. “Now, whether it’s bringing the family to the pool or sitting down for breakfast at a senior center, we are excited to return to pre-pandemic operations and safely serve more of our community across City facilities and recreational areas.”

While City departments have continued to provide most services and programs throughout the pandemic and as restrictions loosened, the move out of the color-tiered system means increased capacity across the city and the resumption of some additional programming paused during the pandemic.

City facilities will return to 100% capacity on July 1st, and additional changes of note include:

  • Pools no longer require reservations
  • Community and Multigenerational Centers reopen fitness rooms
  • The ABQ Museum, Balloon Museum, and BioPark will continue timed ticketing for now, but capacity restrictions are lifted and visitors can book times online or in person
  • Large special event permitting is now being approved
  • City special events are returning to the Rail Yards, BioPark and Old Town. Events will continue to be added to the calendar cabq.gov/artsculture/special-events-festivals
  • The BioPark, Albuquerque Museum, and Balloon Museum will resume facility rentals
  • Elena Gallegos and Carolino Canyon spaces open for reservations
  • Parks and Recreation public events and programs resume or return to full capacity including summer hikes, concerts, clean-up events, explorer camp, teen trek, family nature club, service learning projects, and the youth corps.
    • Weeklong Summer Adventure Camps at Balloon Fiesta Park, with archery, disc golf, mountain biking, and more have reopened. Registration at play.cabq.gov
  • City BMX track returns to full programming
  • Animal shelters no-longer require reservations for adoptions
  • The Department of Senior Affairs adds breakfast service and high-impact fitness back into programming and is waiving fees for existing senior center members. (More details below)

Currently, most city employees are already working in-person. The remaining city workforce will return to the office on July 1st. Individual health exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis by departments. City Hall and other office buildings have been open to the public since June 1st.

The Department of Senior Affairs currently has most of its programming running, including a meal delivery program, which will continue. That program provided roughly 800,000 meals throughout the pandemic. Lunch pick-up at the City’s six senior centers and two multigenerational centers will transition to in-person dining on July 6th so participants can socialize, and the popular breakfast services are being added as well. For existing senior center members, membership fees will be waived this year since in-person services were interrupted during the pandemic.

In addition to the recreation and fitness classes already open, the Department of Senior Affairs will resume its high-impact fitness classes on July 6th. Centers will conduct regularly scheduled sanitization of the facilities. The Department’s social services have been provided uninterrupted throughout the pandemic.

The KiMo Theater and South Broadway Community Center and Theater are currently undergoing renovations and will open when complete.  Estimated dates are October for the KiMo Theater and August for the South Broadway Community Center.