The Florida Aquarium is taking the first steps in reopening from May 15, in coordination with state and local government, as well as public health officials, following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The aquarium has made some important changes to the visitor experience, in order to safeguard the health and safety of guests, staff, volunteers and animals.
According to the website, online reservations are required for all guests, and general admission will begin on May 15, 2020.
Roger Germann, president and CEO of the Florida Aquarium, said in a statement: “After nearly eight weeks of being closed to the public, we are excited to reopen our doors to fulfil our mission as well as support Tampa Bay’s healing process now that our state and region has begun the reopening process.
The Florida Aquarium prepares to reopen doors
— The Florida Aquarium (@floridaaquarium) May 12, 2020
“The health, safety, and wellbeing of every guest is our utmost priority! We are taking a phased, controlled approach to reopening and have customised the guest experience to continue to deliver a world-class experience while ensuring we operate safely, responsibly and sustainably.”
Hourly capacity will be limited so that visitors can keep their distance, while aquarium staff and volunteers will wear face masks.
Guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks, while staff will have their temperatures checked before they begin work.
Additional hand sanitiser stations will be available throughout the attraction and at the entry, exit and restrooms.
Social distancing and safety measures
Tampa we're ready for you! 🙌 Even our Manta is wearing a mask. Thank you to @JaneCastor for supporting and guiding the Aquarium through the process of a safe reopen. 🐟 #FloridaAquarium #FLAQIsBack pic.twitter.com/icgHZpFFOu
— The Florida Aquarium (@floridaaquarium) May 8, 2020
The Florida Aquarium will continue to maintain its high standards of cleanliness, with high-touch surfaces being continuously cleaned.
In more information for visitors, the aquarium will not accept cash payments for any transactions.
Members will still receive free admission, but will need to make a reservation due to limited capacity. These can be secured in 30-minute time slots.
Guests will follow a one-way flow throughout the aquarium, and touch experiences will not be available at Moon Bay, Stingray Beach and No Bone Zone.
Touch experiences not available at Florida Aquarium
Tickets are now available to visit the Aquarium starting May 15th! 🙌🐠 Online ticket reservations are required and daily capacities are limited, so reserve yours today at https://t.co/tspoLDJmdU. #FloridaAquarium #FLAQIsBack pic.twitter.com/VuOfpNJufp
— The Florida Aquarium (@floridaaquarium) May 7, 2020
As for F&B, water fountains will not be available, and the gift shop and Café Ray will limit the number of guests allowed entry.
Meanwhile, the Florida Aquarium has become the world’s first to reproduce ridged cactus coral, or Mycetophyllia lamarckiana, in human care.
In January, the Florida Aquarium announced an expansion and enhancement project. It will undergo 14 months of infrastructure expansion, exhibit enhancement and events.