SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will reopen on June 20 after shutting down for the first time in their 103-year history because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The two zoo facilities closed in mid-March along with most of the state to slow the spread of coronavirus. Its reopening at 9 a.m. on June 20 will come with major changes.
The parks will operate at less than 50 percent capacity, with new signs directing visitors to observe social distancing guidelines. Face coverings will be required for all visitors 2 and older and, and same-day reentry will not be permitted. Special donor entrances will be unavailable during the first phase of the zoo and safari park’s reopening. Guests are being strongly advised to buy tickets in advance of their visits, and will be subject to questions about their health before entry.
Not all park features will be immediately available on the first day of reopening. Scheduled shows will be temporarily suspended until further notice, and children’s play areas and statues may be cordoned off or closed. Some pathways may remain closed, and some plant and wildlife habitats may not be available. The Skyfari, guided bus tour, Kangaroo Bus, and Balboa Park Miniature train at the zoo, along with the Safari Park’s Africa Tram, parking tram and Cheetah Run, will not be in operation during the initial reopening phase.
A limited number of stores and carts will be open, and restaurants will be open for carry-out service — but hours for both may be limited.
The San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park, two of the largest zoos in California, appear to be the first to reopen since the coronavirus outbreak shut down much of the state. Other California zoos in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco remain closed.