DeWine: Cincinnati Zoo, playgrounds, museums, cinemas can reopen

Ohio zoos, playgrounds, museums and cinemas can reopen June 10

COLUMBUS (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday zoos, cinemas, museums, and playgrounds are among many recreational and entertainment facilities that may reopen with virus restrictions.

Entertainment venues listed below may open beginning June 10 if they follow Retail, Consumer, Service & Entertainment Guidelines and other applicable additional guidance, he said.

Here’s the list:

  • Aquariums
  • Art galleries
  • Country clubs
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Laser tag facilities
  • Movie theaters (indoor)
  • Museums
  • Playgrounds (outdoor)
  • Public recreation centers
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Social clubs
  • Trampoline parks
  • Zoos

Notably left out of this list is amusement parks like Kings Island and Cedar Point.

DeWine has said the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board was forming policies for reopening certain attractions and is still in the progress of making recommendations.

He also recently said Ohio was not ready to hold mass gatherings of more than 10 people yet and his administration wanted to analyze infection trends from the recent reopenings before allowing amusement parks like Kings Island and Cedar Point to operate again.

When they do reopen, zoos and museums will have several virus precautions in place including social distancing and requirements for facial coverings.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical garden has been working on a phased reopening plan for several weeks, according to a news release.

There are new protocols in place including reserved entry times to limit the number of people coming into the Zoo at the same time.

In phase one of reopening, maximum visitor capacity will be reduced 50 - 75% and reservations will be required.

During the first week of operations, only members (with reservations) will be allowed to enter the Zoo.

After that, a limited number of general admission tickets may be reserved online.

All tickets must be purchase/reserved online in order to manage attendance and provide a touchless transaction.

Reservation confirmation will include a specific time to arrive and information about where to park, wait, and enter the Zoo.

“It might be a while before visitors can see reptiles, insects, manatees and other animals in indoor habitats, but there’s still plenty to see and do here while walking the grounds. Just being outside in the Zoo’s natural setting offers mental and physical health benefits,” Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said.

Zoo employees will be required to wear face coverings and they are recommended for visitors, Maynard said.

Check out the Zoo’s Reopening FAQ page for more information about pricing, reservations and entry procedures.

While the Cincinnati Museum Center has awaited guidance from state and health officials, they said they prepared for the possibility of a mid-July reopening of portions of the center.

“CMC has taken extensive measures to ensure guest, volunteer, and staff safety upon reopening, meaning your next visit may be a little different, but the impact of the experience will not be diminished,” their news release states.

Among the steps CMC says it is taking to keep its guests, volunteers, and staff safe:

  • Instituting timed tickets for both general museum admission to the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Cincinnati History Museum and our current featured exhibition Maya: The Exhibition. “Timed tickets will help manage the number of people in each experience, ensuring proper social distancing of six feet or more. Given the high touch nature of certain exhibits, some areas will be offline upon reopening. CMC is working on adapting many interactive elements for guests’ personal mobile devices.”
  • Extensive cleaning protocols to ensure the building is clean and sanitized multiple times per day, including particular attention to high touchpoint areas like doors, elevators, handrails, countertops, and restrooms.
  • Staff, volunteers, and guests must wear masks at all times
  • Signs and floor markings will encourage guests to abide by the six-foot social distancing recommended by health officials.

“We are doing our part to create a safe, clean environment for our guests, volunteers, and staff and we’re asking everyone to please experience our museum responsibly,” says Pierce.

“We need our community to help ensure our museum remains a safe space for everyone.”

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