San Diego Zoo sets date to reopen, along with hotels for tourism

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County has given the green light for its famed San Diego Zoo to reopen and is allowing hotels to welcome back tourists just as summer vacation starts for many.

Museums, galleries, aquariums, card rooms and wineries, along with other recreational outlets like gyms and community pools, will also be allowed to reopen Friday.

After being closed to guests since mid-March, San Diego Zoo Global has announced that the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will reopen to the general public on Saturday, June 20th., ending the first major closure in the conservation organization’s 103-year history.

“We’re thrilled to once again welcome guests back to San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park for the first time in three months,” said Paul Baribault, president/CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “There’s no better way to celebrate the occasion than to invite our faithful members and donors, who have been steadfast allies helping us by continuing to support our mission to save wildlife worldwide.”

To ensure a safe and healthy guest experience, Zoo and Safari Park officials have enacted an extensive range of temporary changes that comply with guidelines outlined by local and state health authorities. Both parks will resume operations in stages that will start with limited dining and shopping experiences, reducing the number of guests on grounds at a given time, increasing the number of handwashing and sanitizing locations, maintaining robust cleaning routines, adding one-way path modifications and barriers, encouraging the wearing of face coverings and observing social distancing practices. During the initial reopening phase, the Zoo’s Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram, and the Safari Park’s Africa Tram will be unavailable. Activities that traditionally include larger numbers of guests—including some shows, tours and Safari experiences—will also be temporarily unavailable.

“As the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopen to guests, it’s true that we will be faced with a new normal,” said Baribault. “However, within this new normal, I have no doubt we will be able to showcase our strength, our resilience, our dedication to the community, and our continued mandate to save wildlife around the world. Welcome back!”

For more details on the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopening—including yearly membership options and important information for guests planning their next visit—go to SanDiegoZoo.org/Reopen.

The loosening of restrictions comes as the county’s rate of positive coronavirus cases has ticked up above its 14-day rolling average. But it remains far below the minimum standard the state outlines for counties to reach before they can further roll back measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Tourism is one of San Diego’s top industries with more than 35 million visitors last year.

 

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News