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Toronto Zoo temporarily shut due to rise in Covid-19 cases

Toronto Zoo‘s shutdown comes after the Ontario government implemented new measures amid a surge of Covid-19 cases.

Toronto Zoo Dolf DeJong

Toronto Zoo has temporarily closed due to the rise in Covid-19 cases until at least January 27, 2022. The closure will protect the health and safety of staff, guests and animals, and ensure staffing.

Toronto Zoo’s shutdown comes after the Ontario government implemented new measures as the Omicron variant leads to a surge of Covid-19 cases, which are expected to rise in the coming weeks.

Under the new government regulations, the outdoor areas of Toronto Zoo could have remained open. However, the zoo decided to close in order to protect its staff, visitors and animals – especially animals that are susceptible to Covid-19.

The temporary closure will allow Toronto Zoo to redeploy and train employees for essential roles related to the care and welfare of animals and infrastructure maintenance, should Covid-19 cause staffing shortages.

“Our priority is to maintain critical staffing levels in essential areas related to the care and welfare of our animals and infrastructure,” Toronto Zoo said.

Toronto Zoo closed until at least January 27

“This temporary closure provides us with the ability to refocus efforts and train additional staff to move into these essential positions should we find ourselves short staffed due to a number of Covid-19 cases or self-isolation/quarantine requirements.” 

“During this temporary closure, there will be zoo staff on-site to ensure our animals continue to receive the highest levels of care and our critical infrastructures are maintained,” it added.

Toronto Zoo will continue to offer virtual and educational programming. Current ticket holders can use their tickets when the zoo reopens. Alternatively, they can receive a refund. Members of Toronto Zoo will be granted an extension.

Hong Kong Disneyland is also closing again amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong. The attraction will shut for two weeks on January 7 until January 20.

In preparation for staff shortages, the Smithsonian Institution has temporarily reduced public hours at many of its museums in Washington, D.C.

Images: Toronto Zoo

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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