TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Aquarium will open its door to visitors on Friday, May 15, after being closed for almost eight weeks.
The opening comes as Florida begins easing coronavirus restrictions in an effort to kick-start the economy.
“Humans and the natural world are more disconnected than ever, especially during the ‘safer at home’ timeframe, and studies show that the human-animal-nature bond plays a role supporting public health,” said Roger Germann, President and CEO of The Florida Aquarium in a statement. “A visit to The Florida Aquarium is good for mental and emotional wellbeing and we are ready to welcome our guests back to provide these positive health benefits.”
The aquarium, which sees about 841,000 visitors annually, will “operate with strict limits on attendance and programming.”
New health and safety measures will be in place, including a mask requirement for staff, “enhanced cleaning methods,” and “touchless transactions.” Tickets will only be available online. Those without an online reservation will not be admitted.
The outdoor play area, touch tanks and interactive exhibits will remain closed until further notice.
“We have been preparing for our re-opening for several weeks. From conducting a deep clean of all exhibits to removing unnecessary touchpoints to requiring online ticket sales, The Florida Aquarium is well prepared to provide a safe, clean and fun experience for our guests,” said Andy Wood, The Florida Aquarium Chief Operating Officer. “We will continue to coordinate with local, state and federal agencies and public health officials and are prepared to make any and all adjustments necessary now and after we open, to maintain the highest standards of health and safety for all.”
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