The Oakland Zoo reopens with new COVID-19 restrictions


Soumya Sahay

Signs are placed around the premises of the zoo to remind visitors of precautions.

Soumya Sahay, AVT Editor-in-Chief

Many businesses and tourist attractions around the Bay Area have shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, one beautiful part of the bay has recently re-opened for public visitation: The Oakland Zoo!

The Zoo has opened its doors once again, with a few new precautions to keep visitors safe. 

People must reserve tickets before arrival online, only come with members of their household, and cover their mouth and nose with some sort of facial covering; cloth masks are the preferred fabric of choice. 

Staff is no longer handing out paper maps of the interior of the zoo like they did before to keep everything, including entry and exit, contactless. 

The Zoo is mostly outdoors and spread across a large range of space, so people are required to practice social distancing with at least 6 feet of space between each family. Indoor enclosures at the zoo have all been temporarily closed, such as the Zimmer Bug House, the fan-favorite petting yard, and more. 

One fun addition to the zoo that you’ll notice when walking around is the new additions to the statues around the zoo: they’re all wearing masks, just like you! This helps encourage wearing a mask in a fun and unique way, especially for younger children. 

The refreshments and dining areas are still open to the public! Because the area is located outdoors and in an open field, visitors are welcome to have a family picnic while remaining six feet apart from other groups. 

Hand sanitizer is also available outside of most spots around the zoo, and they are each motion-sensored and touchless, to prevent the spread of unnecessary germs. 

Zoo occupancy is now limited, so only a certain amount of people can be inside the premises at all times, to ensure proper social distancing is possible at all times and spots throughout the Zoo. This allows visitors and staff to remain safe. 

Attractions like the train, Adventure Landing, and the beloved Sky Ride are all closed, however, the Gondala to the California Trail at the higher level of the Zoo remains open. Staff is always present to spray down the inside of the vehicle to ensure no germs are spread. 

“Oakland Zoo is excited and eager to offer Bay Area families a safe place for outdoor recreation and education. In compliance with the Alameda County Public Health Department—to protect the health and safety of our guests, staff, and animals—we have implemented new safety protocols. Please remember, in order to remain open, the Zoo and our guests must comply with the protocols set by Alameda County Public Health Department,” reads the Oakland Zoo homepage. 

This Bay Area attraction is doing everything it can to keep its visitors and staff safe and welcomes people to join the fun.

For a more visual experience of the Oakland Zoo, check out 15 image slideshow on the AmadorValleyToday photo gallery page, titled: “Wonders of the Bay: The Oakland Zoo.

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