After a four-month closure due to COVID-19, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas will open its doors on Thursday.
As for getting into the aquarium, visitors will be required to mask up. Additionally, to help limit the number of guests to accommodate physical distancing, visitors will need to make reservations.
“Along with setting strict attendance limits, additional safety initiatives include stringent cleaning protocols, physical distancing signage, and requiring staff wear appropriate PPE,” said Audubon Executive Vice President and COO Kyle Burks. “In accordance with City health guidelines, masks will also be required for all guests visiting our indoor facilities, such as the Aquarium.”
During the closure, the more than 15,000 animals have been under continued care, Audubon said in a release.
While the aquarium will open its doors to the public, it won’t host summer camps or events — public or private. That includes the organization’s annual fundraiser Scales and Ales. Audubon noted in a release that from March to June, its facility closures lost an estimated $21 million in revenue.
“Audubon typically welcomes 750,000 visitors over the summer months and is estimating nearly an 80% decrease this year due to limited capacity, pausing groups and field trips, and decreased tourism visitation,” Audubon said.
“We are an organization built on hope and our ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds,” said Audubon President and CEO Ron Forman. “Over the years, the Audubon has made historic comebacks, resurrecting a neglected Zoo to a world-class facility and rebuilding from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Our response to this challenge will be no exception. Together, we will get through this and come out the other side stronger than ever.”
Audubon Aquarium will be open Thursday – Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can be reserved here.