The New England Aquarium is set to reopen to guest Friday with restrictions in place after the city of Boston loosened restrictions on businesses earlier this week.
The move comes after Boston entered Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts' COVID-19 reopening process, Monday, meaning museums, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses are able to open their doors amid positive trends in the city's coronavirus data.
While the aquarium has been closed since December, staff have remained on-site to provide dedicated care to the 20,000 animals there.
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“We have missed seeing visitors come through our doors each day,” said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the aquarium. “We are looking forward to providing people of all ages with a safe and fun environment this winter to learn about the wonders of the ocean.”
The aquarium's Simons Theatre will be open on Saturday and Sundays only, with the exception school vacation week beginning February 15. Some "touch tanks" will be restricted or closed to promote social distancing.
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Other businesses in the city allowed to reopen include museums, indoor recreational facilities, arcades, indoor historical sites and sightseeing tours such as duck boat tours.
Most businesses will be subject to the state's 25% capacity limit, which remains in effect through Feb. 8; and all gatherings and events must comply with capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, Walsh said.
The move came after Walsh rolled the city back to Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker's reopening process in mid-December, fearing cases could spike again after the holiday season.
Most of the rest of the state is already in Phase 3, Step 1. Restrictions were further eased Monday when a statewide business curfew was lifted, meaning many businesses -- including restaurants -- are allowed to open past 9:30 p.m.