Franklin Park Zoo in Boston will reopen on May 28, followed by Stone Zoo in Stoneham on May 30, Zoo New England announced today, allowing guests into the facilities for the first time since they were shuttered to stem the spread of coronavirus in mid March.

The reopenings will open first to members through June 3, then to the general public the following day. Only outdoor areas will be available to visitors “as indoor buildings remain closed,” the zoos said.

Guests will be required to purchase tickets online for a designated time slot. Guests and staff will be required to wear face coverings and adhere to 6-foot social distancing while on zoo grounds.

Stone Zoo in Stoneham, March 20, 2020. (Greg Cook photo)
Stone Zoo in Stoneham, March 20, 2020. (Greg Cook photo)

These are some of the new health and safety measures the zoos say they have adopted. The zoos say additional changes include:
• Online and timed ticketing
• Guest capacity limits
• One-way paths to control guest flow
• Clearly designated 6-foot distance markers
• Enhanced cleaning protocols
• More hand sanitizer stations throughout the zoos
• COVID-19 training for all staff
• No re-entry once admitted into the zoo
• Playgrounds and play structures will remain closed during this first phase of reopening
• Some bathrooms will be open, but with limited capacities and increased cleaning schedules

Still, the zoos’ website warns, “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. While we have instituted safety measures reducing capacity … by visiting Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

March 21, 2020: Taking Care Of Animals At The Stone Zoo During Coronavirus

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Categories: Nature