The Florida Aquarium in Tampa has announced plans to reopen to the public on May 15.
In a news release Monday night, aquarium officials said the reopening – under social distancing guidelines and with several safety measures in place to guard against the coronavirus pandemic – will be part of the region’s “healing process.”
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“After nearly eight weeks of being closed to the public, we are excited to reopen our doors to fulfill our mission as well as support Tampa Bay’s healing process now that our state and region has begun the re- opening process,” said Roger Germann, aquarium president and CEO, in the release.
“The health, safety, and wellbeing of every guest is our utmost priority. We are taking a phased, controlled approach to reopening and have customized the guest experience to continue to deliver a world-class experience while ensuring we operate safely, responsibly and sustainably.”
For now, animal touch exhibits and the outdoor play area will remain closed, and tickets can only be purchased online. Admission will be timed, to ensure limited attendance.
Workers will conduct a deep cleaning of exhibits and touch areas, and enhanced cleaning methods will be in place, officials said.
"We are grateful for The Florida Aquarium's continued support to protect the health and safety of those in our community. By implementing added safety measures and capacity limits, The Florida Aquarium is taking a smart and phased approach to re-opening responsibly," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in the release.
The aquarium is taking for the reservations for the opening starting Thursday on its website.
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