Balloon Fiesta will not require COVID-19 vaccination

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It looks like you’ll be able to have a breakfast burrito in one hand and a coffee in the other at the Balloon Fiesta without having to show your COVID-19 vaccination card to get in.

Tom Garrity, the spokesperson for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, said they will not have a vaccine mandate this year.

"No vaccination card requirement to get into Balloon Fiesta," Garrity said.

In 2019, Garrity said they saw about 800,000 people attend. Even with the large crowds, Garrity says their decision was made with tremendous consideration.

"We feel it is the prudent decision to make as far as following the public health order as well as the CDC guidelines,” Garrity said. There will still be a mask requirement for anyone who goes indoors or into large crowds at the fiesta. There will also be more handwashing and sanitizing stations.

"Our main focus is staging a safe event for our pilots, for our chase crew, and also for our guests,” said Garrity.

KOB 4 also asked the governor’s press secretary for their thoughts on the current precautions being taken, this what they said in part:

“Masking remains one of the most effective tools against COVID-19 that we have, so while we’re encouraged by the adherence to the state mask mandate, we are disappointed they have chosen not to take an extra step to prioritize the well-being of New Mexicans and visitors to our state by requiring vaccinations.”