ZooTampa at Lowry Park has plans to reopen to the public on or about June 1 with limited capacity and “protocols designed to help ensure public safety while also restoring the community benefits of sensibly reopening businesses and outdoor spaces.”
That’s according to a Monday release from the zoo, which is the first local attraction to announce a reopening date (The Florida Aquarium announced a May 15 opening date on Tuesday). A 17-page plan submitted to county and city officials on May 1 says capacity at the zoo will be limited to 50%; indoor spaces at the zoo will have a 25% capacity. Six-foor social distancing will be required along with thermal monitoring stations at the zoo’s single point of entry.
The zoo closed to visitors on March 16, but retained all full and part time staff.
ZooTampa is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and offering disposable masks to any guest free of charge. Groups of more than 10 people are also not allowed.
See a summary of the zoo plan’s key points at the bottom of this post, and get additional details via zootampa.org.
“We’ve all felt the anxiety and stress of the pandemic on people, including children.” Joe Couceiro, president and CEO of ZooTampa, said in a release.
“Outdoor experiences and connecting with nature and wildlife are healing and bring comfort to people. The Zoo can provide restorative family experiences that are within the recommended guidelines for controlling the spread of COVID-19.”
So, yeah, if you’ve felt like a caged animal during quarantine, don’t worry, you’ll be able to visit some real animals in captivity very soon.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.