The Two Oceans Aquarium is reopening to the public on Tuesday 1 September 2020. The Aquarium staff and animals will once again welcome members, supporters, fans and visitors daily between 09:30 and 18:00 on weekdays, and from 09:00 to 18:00 on weekends and public holidays.
Members of the Aquarium will have four exclusive days to rediscover the magic of the Aquarium and to say hello to all their favourite animals – Friday 28 August, Saturday 29 August, Sunday 30 August and Monday 31 August – ahead of its reopening to the general public.
Visitors will also be able to savour delicious coffee and scrumptious meals at the onsite restaurant, Bootlegger Coffee Company. The Aquarium Shop with its marine-themed merchandise will also welcome visitors back.
“We are delighted to have finally received the go ahead from Government to reopen our doors after five months of closure,” said Michael Farquhar, CEO for the Two Oceans Aquarium. “The Aquarium will once again be filled with the buzz of enthusiastic visitors, discovering the magic and beauty of the underwater world. Now we can get back to our purpose of saving the oceans and inspiring all who visit”.
For the safety, wellbeing and comfort of all its visitors, the Aquarium has introduced a range of health and safety measures in line with the latest government regulations and a Covid-19 workplace-ready plan has been compiled and implemented.
Health and safety measures
- Online bookings and ticket purchases are encouraged, and contactless payment options will also be available at the Aquarium’s ticket office.
- Upon arrival all visitors will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms and will have their temperatures taken
- Visitors who are feeling ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms will be requested to postpone their visit.
- All visitors (two years and up) must wear masks for the duration of their visit. Masks are available for sale at the Aquarium should visitors have left theirs at home.
- The visitor capacity of the Aquarium will be closely managed at all times to ensure ample space for physical distancing at 2m between visitors. Visitors entering and exiting the Aquarium will be counted and visitor numbers will be restricted to 50% of the Aquarium’s capacity, based on the public space available.
- Floor guides will be present to guide Aquarium visitors along the one-way route through the building.
- Hand sanitiser will be freely available to all visitors throughout the Aquarium.
- No eating or drinking will be allowed in the Aquarium so that visitors can keep their masks on at all times. Bootlegger Coffee Company will be open to satisfy hungry appetites.
- Cleaning personnel will be stationed throughout the Aquarium and will continuously clean and sanitise, especially around high-contact areas such as handrails, door handles and the activation buttons of certain exhibits.
- There will be regular announcements throughout the day reminding staff and visitors about safety protocols.
Some of the Aquarium’s exhibits and offerings will be temporarily closed in the interest of visitor safety.
- Some of the crawl-through exhibits will not be open.
- Advertised feed presentations have been temporarily suspended, but animal feeds will continue to take place and visitors will still be able to see divers in the large exhibits at various times of the day.
- The I&J Children’s Play Centre has been closed, although the ever-popular puppet shows will be presented in the Aquarium’s Auditorium. This will ensure sufficient space for physical distancing and better control of numbers.
- Adventure Diving and Penguin Experiences will not be available for the time being.
The Covid-19 workplace-ready plan is also extended to the staff of the Aquarium. Staff-related measures and requirements of the plan include the appointment of a Covid-19 Compliance Officer, training of all staff members, checking of staff temperatures when arriving for work, daily signing of a health declaration by staff, and the compulsory wearing of masks and regular hand sanitising by all staff.
The Aquarium’s conference facilities have reopened with a maximum capacity of 50 delegates per venue.
The Aquarium will adhere to these measures as well as any others gazetted by Government so that it can operate in a safe and responsible manner and in so doing protect its visitors and staff to the best of its ability.
Memberships that were active on the day of the Aquarium’s temporary closure (18 March 2020) will be extended by the number of days that the Aquarium has been closed so that members will still enjoy twelve full months of membership.
Memberships and prepaid tickets that were purchased during the lockdown period must be activated and redeemed within 90 days of the Aquarium’s reopening.
The Two Oceans Aquarium has been part of the Cape Town landscape for the past 25 years. Before the Covid-19 pandemic forced its temporary closure, the Aquarium had only ever been closed one other day in its history. It will be “Great To Sea You Again”.