NIAGARA FALLS — The Aquarium of Niagara will "officially" reopen on July 4 with summer operating hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In compliance with state guidelines, the aquarium will reopen at 25% capacity for both staff and visitors as soon as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces that Western New York is able to enter Phase 4. If that happens before July 4th, the aquarium will host a "soft opening" for aquarium members and frontline workers in the days leading up to its official reopening.
In order to track and limit visitor traffic, the aquarium is using a timed ticketing system and strongly encourages guests to purchase general admission passes online ahead of their visit.
A limited number of walkup passes will be available for aquarium members as well as those seeking to purchase reduced admission passes. This includes visitors using reciprocal benefits from other institutions (ex. Buffalo Zoo members), the military discount, coupons, and the Arts Access Pass.
All guests over the age of 2 are required to wear masks for the duration of their visit. Visitors are also asked to follow a one-way directional flow of traffic, remain with their household or group, and limit one group per exhibit.
During the initial phase of reopening, the aquarium will not be offering access to interactive exhibits, shows, presentations, or animal encounters.
“After more than 100 days of being closed, you can feel the enthusiasm building as we accelerate into reopening,” said Gary Siddall, executive director of the Aquarium of Niagara.
Preliminary research shows that fish, amphibians, birds, and reptiles are not at risk for contracting COVID-19, and marine mammals, like the aquarium’s seals and sea lions are at very low risk of contracting the disease. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.