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Columbus Zoo reopens Friday for members only, all guests on June 15

The zoo had been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced Friday that it will welcome members to attend the zoo on June 12 and all guests are welcome to visit the zoo starting on June 15.

The zoo had been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that zoos and other entertainment facilities could reopen starting on June 10.

The zoo has outlined several changes and safety measures, including:

  • All visits will require a ticket for timed entry
  • Employees must wear face coverings; guests highly encouraged, but not required
  • Some viewing areas and indoor exhibits closed

Timed Ticketing. All Zoo visits will now require a dated, timed ticket, including all Members. Tickets must be pre-purchased or pre-registered online prior to date of visit. Each ticket will also have an entry timeslot. To help minimize crowds in our entrance plaza, guests cannot arrive prior to their timeslot to enter the Zoo. Timed tickets will be available for purchase beginning immediately so guests can begin planning their visit starting June 15 and beyond.

Experiencing the Outdoors! With more than 3 miles of open-air pathways available and admission at a limited capacity, this will allow our guests to be able to maintain social distancing. The majority of the outdoor habitats and viewing areas will be open and available to guests. Some modifications have been implemented, including spacing in front of viewing windows to minimize contact with glass surfaces, and removal of some seating and objects to encourage guest flow and social distancing. One-way direction has been instituted in certain Zoo regions that contain smaller pathways. If a viewing area is too narrow and social distancing is not possible, then that viewing area will be closed. Some indoor habitats and areas may be open during the Zoo’s reopening while animal encounters, some rides, trams, playgrounds, group programs and events, and interactive stations will be unavailable at times. Availability is subject to change due to operational considerations.

Health and Wellness. Face coverings will be mandatory for all Zoo team members in accordance with state regulations. Face coverings for our guests are highly encouraged, but not required. Employees’ temperatures will be checked daily before beginning work at the Zoo. At this time, guest temperature checks will not be required prior to entering the Zoo; however, we ask that guests stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms outlined through by area health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 50 hand sanitizing stations and 14 sets of restrooms are available throughout the park to encourage handwashing and personal hygiene. All restroom facilities and high-touch surfaces, including picnic tables, benches, railings and trash cans, will be frequently disinfected throughout the operating day. Additionally, all rental equipment (strollers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters) will be disinfected before and after each use. Care and Cooperation. While guests’ visit to the Zoo will look different, these policies and procedures are in place to provide a safe and fun experience for all guests. The health and safety of our guests, employees, volunteers and the more than 10,000 animals in our care remain the Zoo’s top priority and we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation in helping us with these efforts.

More information about the zoo's reopening plan and guidelines can be found on the Zoo’s Reopening Plan page on the Zoo’s website.