WORCESTER (AP) — Several ice rinks in the Worcester area are opening next week for free public skating just in time for school vacation week, but strict rules meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will remain in place.

The rinks reopening Monday are operated by FMC Ice Sports, The Telegram & Gazette reported.

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“We know many skaters and their families have suffered financially over the past year so we will be waiving the admission fee for all public skating sessions for the remainder of the season,” FMC said in a statement. “We hope this helps in a small way to encourage our communities to come back to the rink and enjoy skating once again.”

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FMC operates the Buffone Skating Arena in Worcester, Veterans Arena in Gardner, Horgan Arena in Auburn and Navin Rink in Marlborough.

Pre-registration is required to take part in the public skate and masks must be worn in all areas of the facility. Public skating sessions are limited to 25 people with no more than two spectators per participant. There will be no skate rentals or concessions.

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