The Monterey Bay Aquarium announced on Friday it will welcome back all visitors on May 15 following an unprecedented 13-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But, before reopening its doors for the general public, the aquarium will reopen for its members on from Saturday, May 1, through May 14.
Visitors are being asked to make online reservations on the aquarium’s website in advance, as capacity inside the aquarium remains limited due to state guidelines.
“We’ve missed welcoming our visitors to the aquarium and have been looking forward to this day for too long,” the aquarium’s Executive Director Julie Packard said in a statement.
“Social media and our online experiences have allowed us to stay connected with people virtually, but we know that people are looking forward to reconnecting with favorite exhibits and animals in person. Everyone can expect an outstanding experience that puts the well-being of our guests, staff and volunteers front and center,” she said.
For now, the aquarium will only be open Thursdays through Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After Memorial Day, May 31, the aquarium will resume a seven-day weekly schedule.
In addition, new safety measures will be in place, including face coverings for all visitors ages three and up. Also, visitors will be directed through the exhibit galleries along one-way paths to ensure social distancing and capacity limits are followed.
General admissions tickets can be purchased online starting on Wednesday at 9 a.m. for visits from May 15 through June 30. Then starting on June 1, tickets for visits through July 15 can be purchased.
After that, starting on June 30, tickets can be purchased for visits through Sept. 6. Additional tickets for future dates will be announced at a later date, depending on Monterey County’s COVID-19 status, aquarium officials said.
More information about the reopening, as well as ticket sales, can be found at https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/visit/welcome-back.