Tennessee Aquarium Announces Reopening Plans

Tennessee Aquarium
Tennessee Aquarium

Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Tennessee Aquarium announces its reopening plans, after being closed since mid-March.

The Aquarium will open back up in phases.

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There will be exclusive opportunities for members on June 12 through 14. It will then reopen to the public on June 18, but with a few changes.

“Our temporary closure was in the best interest of our community and our Aquarium family,” said President and CEO Keith Sanford. “We have worked meticulously on a phased reopening plan that is aligned with all health guidance.”

Visitors must buy their tickets online in advance at tnaqua.org/welcomeback. Tickets will have a scheduled time to enter the building.

Attendance will be at about 20 percent each day, with only up to 75 guests allowed inside every 30 minutes.

Visits will begin in the River Journey building, and move in one direction through the Ocean Journey building.

In order to minimize contact and maintain social distancing, the Aquarium is temporarily halting dive shows and other programming. Other interactive elements like the pop-up touch tanks, Butterfly Garden, IMAX 3D Theater, and gift shop will also remain closed.

Housekeeping staff will focus on cleaning commonly touched surfaces, and visitors can also take advantage of dozens of hand sanitizing stations throughout the Aquarium.

The only time guests will be required to wear face coverings is from 9 to 10 a.m. each day during early bird entry for people with special health concerns.

The Aquarium says it will gradually ease restrictions, and reimplement programs as health guidelines change.

For more information about the changes, visit tnaqua.org/welcomeback.

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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now at 6 and Prime News at 7 with John Mercer. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at ecassulo@wdef.com if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’