Mystic Aquarium is reopening to the general public on Friday, but plans to host special events in recognition of the community and frontline workers on Wednesday and Thursday.
The aquarium said they are reopening with the special events on Wednesday and Thursday in recognition of the support of the local community and the efforts of healthcare workers, emergency responders and other essential workers.
On Wednesday, Mystic Aquarium will hold a member's only event. On Thursday, complimentary admission will be given to frontline workers of the coronavirus crisis, the aquarium said. Frontline workers include healthcare workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy staff. Each person requires a reserved time ticket.
“We hope, too, that Mystic Aquarium can be a safe and inspiring respite for people during this difficult time. We are particularly interested in expressing the community’s deep appreciation to those who have been on the front lines of keeping all of us safe," said President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium Dr. Stephen M. Coan.
Mystic Aquarium will reopen to the general public officially on Friday and access to the aquarium will be limited to outdoor spaces at 50 percent, according to officials.
Aquarium officials said the outdoor space includes the Penguin Pavilion, Marsh Trek, Pacific Northwest habitats and the Arctic Coast habitat featuring New England's only beluga whales.
The aquarium is partnering with the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut to help manage temperature screening checks, according to aquarium officials.
From Wednesday, May 20, through Friday, May 22, the nurse will be outside of the aquarium's main gates in the temperature screening booth. He or she will also be able to talk to guests about the process and will be able to provide an added layer of comfort for everyone, officials added.
When it reopens, the aquarium will have new safety protocols in place including:
- Mandatory temperature screenings for all staff and guests
- Online timed tickets for admission
- One-way pathways with clear social distance markers
- Face protection is required
- Staff and volunteers must wear personal protective equipment
- Additional disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and hand washing stations throughout the facility
- Barriers and infrastructure changes
An overnight crew is expected to deep clean all of the spaces after the aquarium closes each day.
The aquarium will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information, you can click here.