SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are scheduled to reopen to the public on June 20.
The Saturday, June 20, opening ends the first major closure in San Diego Zoo Global’s 103-year history.
The Zoo and Safari Park were closed in mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials noted that health and safety measures that comply with local and state guidelines would be in place at both the Zoo and Safari Park.
Some of the modifications at the parks include:
- face coverings required for all guests over 2 years of age
- practicing social distancing
- limited dining and shopping, overall reduced park hours
- reduction of guests in the parks (operating at limited capacity)
- limited guest parking
- members and guests will not be allowed to leave the parks and re-enter on the same day
- one-way path adjustments and barriers to help guests navigate safely
- increased number of hand-washing and sanitizing locations
- robust cleaning routine
Visitors will be asked health questions upon entry.
The following will not be available during the parks’ initial reopening phase: the Zoo’s Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram, and the Safari Park’s Africa Tram.
Other activities that traditionally include larger numbers of guests -- including some shows, tours and Safari experiences -- will also be temporarily unavailable.
Paul Baribault, president/CEO for San Diego Zoo Global, said in a statement, “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. However, within this new normal, I have no doubt we will be able to showcase our strength, our resilience, our dedication to community, and our continued mandate to save wildlife around the world. Welcome back!”
"We want to make sure that all of our guests feel safe and comfortable coming out to visit us," he said.
The zoo and Safari Park were able to survive the pandemic thanks to donations, according to Baribault.
Baribault said if there is a wait time to enter the parks, they will put that information on screens leading up to the gates.
He said zoo members will not lose out because of the closure, saying, "we extended every member the entire length of closure so they get all that time back to enjoy in both the zoo and safari park."
More information on the zoo's reopening plan can be found at zoo.sandiegozoo.org/reopen.