MYSTIC, Conn. (WPRI) — Mystic Aquarium plans to host a couple of special events this week before reopening to the general public on Friday.
The aquarium announced that a members-only event will be held Wednesday and on Thursday, it’s offering complimentary admission for health care workers, first responders and grocery and pharmacy staff.
However, for the time being, occupancy will be capped at 50% and only the outdoor spaces will be accessible.
“This partial opening is a small step that we hope will benefit the region’s economy and send a positive message to all that Connecticut is strong and recovering,” Mystic Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Stephen M. Coan. “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.”
The aquarium’s new safety protocols include mandatory temperature screenings for staff members and guests, online timed tickets for admission, and one-way pathways with social distancing markers.
Guests will also be required to wear face coverings, while disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be placed throughout the aquarium.
“We are in constant communication with state and federal officials and will work diligently within all guidelines to support all activities to protect public health and restore Connecticut’s quality of life,” Coan added. “We invite guests to regularly check our website and social media channels for information and the latest updates.”
The aquarium said its custodial staff will perform regular, rigorous cleaning with EPA-approved disinfectants, and a full-time overnight crew will be brought in to deep clean the facility after it closes for the day.
In addition, all of the measures being taken will ensure the safety of the animals.
“On behalf of our entire staff, thank you for your continued trust in Mystic Aquarium and our mission to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet,” Coan said. “Through these efforts and others, we are also dedicated to protecting our community in these unprecedented times.”
The outdoor spaces include the Penguin Pavilion, Marsh Trek, Pacific Northwest habitats and the Arctic Coast habitat with New England’s only beluga whales.
The aquarium will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for timed ticket visits. Tickets can be purchased on its website.