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After a months-long closure, the Vancouver Aquarium reopens to visitors
VANCOUVER -- After a months-long closure that had the facility fearing bankruptcy, the Vancouver Aquarium is now open again.
In an emailed statement, aquarium staff said earlier this week it's "o-fish-al." It opened its doors to the public on Friday.
Ticket-holders were able to go in starting at noon.
The popular attraction closed in March, when the spread of COVID-19 led to public health guidelines including limits to the size of gatherings and physical distancing policies for businesses that stayed open.
In the weeks that followed, the aquarium said it was worried about having enough money to care for its 70,000 creatures. Much of its money comes from ticket sales, and gift shop and concession purchases.
The aquarium teamed up with the Vancouver Whitecaps to raise money through the sale of non-medical masks, and later issued a call for donations that included the opportunity to name a rescued seal pup this season.
In its update Monday, the aquarium said it continues to face bankruptcy as a result of the lengthy closure, and that all ticket sales will help ensure its future.
While is reopening, there will be some new measures in place to keep visitors, staff and animals safe.
The aquarium says it will offer a "new, time-ticketed, one-way flow experience."
It will operate at about 20 to 30 per cent capacity, and visitors must reserve tickets online in advance.
The date and time of the ticket will be specific, and is meant to control the number of people inside at one time.
Six zones are open inside and outside, but the lower level will be closed during the initial opening phase, the aquarium says.
Guests will only be able to spend about 1.5 hours at the facility, the aquarium says.
Everyone must wear a mask except for children under three.
Hand sanitizing stations and safety signage have been installed, and enhanced cleaning procedures will be in effect.
Anyone feeling sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.