Following a closure of more than three months, the Vancouver Aquarium says it will reopen to the public this Friday, June 26, with new health safety measures.
Admissions from the reopening will help financially support the aquarium, which is still in a precarious situation and facing bankruptcy.
There will be some changes to the attraction when the attraction reopens, with visitors required to purchase their tickets online in advance, selecting a specific date and time for entry. For members to return, they must reserve a free ticket online following the same system, with the added benefit of enjoying “member early” hours on select dates.
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All visits will be timed, providing guests with about 90-minutes to complete a one-way flow through six zones and more than 85 indoor and outdoor exhibits. However, the lower level of the aquarium will be closed during the first opening phase.
Under these operations, the aquarium will have an initial visitor capacity of 20% to 30%.
Additionally, all visitors must wear a face mask or covering, except for children under the age of three. Masks can be purchased at the gift shop for those who require one.
There will also be hand sanitizing dispensers placed throughout the facility, and ample physical distancing and wayfinding floor decals and signage. As well, the aquarium has implemented enhanced cleaning safety protocols.
The facility faced over $1 million in monthly animal care and facility costs since its closure on March 17, but with no admission revenue.
Various campaign initiatives have helped raise funding for both the Vancouver Aquarium’s main attraction in Stanley Park and the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre near Crab Park in downtown, but the financial situation has not dissipated.
“We wouldn’t have been able to reopen without the amazing support from our community. Thank you to everyone who donated and supported us so far,” said Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of Ocean Wise, the parent company of the Vancouver Aquarium.
“If you love the Vancouver Aquarium and appreciate the research, education, animal rescue and conservation work that Ocean Wise does, we encourage you to buy a ticket and come back to visit us. Every visit helps to ensure the future of the Vancouver Aquarium and the important work Ocean Wise does.”
The aquarium’s decision to reopen is timed with the Vancouver Park Board’s newly implemented measures today that allow all cars to re-enter Stanley Park’s local roads. The parking lots serving the aquarium are unaffected by the temporary road changes.
To purchase tickets, visit the Vancouver Aquarium’s website.