Philadelphia Zoo reopens to public after coronavirus shutdowns

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Zoo reopened to the public Thursday as more outdoor activities are being allowed following coronavirus shutdowns.

"It's been a long few months and I know that all of us, especially our young people are looking for safe opportunities to get outside, to learn and to have fun. The Philadelphia Zoo is a gem of the 3rd district and the city of Philadelphia," said Philadelphia council member Jamie Gauthier.

City officials said the health department is working closely with the zoo and will be focusing on eight changes to reopen in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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Cecily Tynan learns about Sloth bears during Zoo Adventures on July 8, 2020.

Grab a mask for the little ones and yourself; anyone over the age of two will have to wear one.

You'll notice plexiglass barriers outside when you arrive at the gates.

Everyone will have to keep distance as the zoo reduces the size of crowds.

There'll also be a team of staff members cleaning surfaces frequently.

"We know that if we stay home, the epidemic will subside, but we can't stay home forever. We have to find ways to go about our lives safely. What matters is not so much what we do, but how we do it," said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

Visitors will need to reserve tickets online and fill out a health questioner about showing any possible symptoms of COVID-19 before entering the zoo.

The zoo opens from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
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