With a high vaccination rate in Connecticut, some tourist destinations are reporting more foot traffic.
"Things are certainly busier," said Nathan Fague, director of safety and security at Mystic Aquarium.
The aquarium spent the last year gradually reopening after shutting down at the beginning of the pandemic. They operated at half capacity for several months and saw fewer tourists.
More than a year after the pandemic began, the aquarium is back at full capacity and all of their exhibits are now open.
“It’s great to see things return to what we consider a sense of normalcy,” said Fague. “We are also welcoming groups back to visit as well as offering our summer camp programs and field trip opportunities for local school districts.”
The Mystic Seaport Museum is enjoying a similar tourism comeback.
“The comeback is just a feeling of using this resort and feeling that people are back to appreciating and getting to see all the things that we love," said Peter Armstrong, president of the Mystic Seaport Museum. “If it is a comeback, it is a really good comeback because we have all of the things we had planned for 2020 plus all the things we plan for this year."
The museum saw about a 60% drop in the number of visitors last year. They had to lay off about 150 workers.
“We had to close unfortunately for two months and then as we reopened, we reopened slowly because of COVID restrictions," said Armstrong.
Several months later and the museum is now fully reopened. Armstrong said that on some days they are even seeing more traffic than they did pre-pandemic.
“The difference is there is a real feeling of coming out of this COVID," said Armstrong.
Both the museum and the aquarium say vaccines helped get them to this point. Now, some people will be able to get the vaccine while they visit.
The Mystic Seaport Museum and the Mystic Aquarium are participating in the state's Summer on Us program.
There will be a mobile vaccine clinic at the seaport museum on Monday, June 21 through Wednesday, June 23. People who are vaccinated at the on-site clinic get free admission.
A mobile vaccine clinic will be held at the Mystic Aquarium June 7 – 11 and June 28 – July 2. People who are vaccinated on-site get free admission to the aquarium.
“We think, as a museum, that vaccination is a key to getting us out of COVID," said Armstrong.