CHICAGO — The Shedd Aquarium will start reopening July 1.
The aquarium has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the city will enter Phase 4 Friday, allowing museums, zoos and other places to reopen.
The Shedd plans to allow members and sponsors to visit starting July 1, while the general public will be able to visit starting July 3, according to a press release.
Visitors will be required to buy a ticket online or by calling 312-939-2438 before coming to the aquarium. The ticket presale for members started 10 a.m. Wednesday, and tickets for the general public will go on sale noon Thursday.
Visitors will have to stay 6 feet apart and wear face coverings, and admission will be timed.
The museum has also removed frequently touched surfaces, like interactive screens; put up barriers where social distancing can’t be practiced; and created circulation paths so people will keep moving in the same direction. Water fountains will not be available, and the aquarium is encouraging people to use credit cards if possible when buying things.
Aquatic presentations and the 4-D theater have been put on hold for now so people won’t gather to watch.
The staff is also required to wear masks and is doing more cleaning and sanitizing.
More information about the changes and planning a visit is available online.
While closed, the aquarium famously used social media to release videos of its animals. The videos showed curious penguins waddling around the aquarium — and even a porcupine going on a field trip.
The aquarium also welcomed four Magellanic penguin chicks, seahorses, bonnethead sharks and cownose stingrays. Two beluga whales and one Pacific white-sided dolphin are pregnant and due this summer, as well.
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