WINNIPEG -- Assiniboine Park Zoo will reopen on Wednesday after it closed for eight weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The zoo said it will resume its regular hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Bruce Keats, CEO of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said they are happy to be in the position to reopen and welcome visitors.

“We look forward to providing an enjoyable visitor experience with modifications in place to protect the health and safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and animals,” he said in a news release.

The zoo asks Manitobans to take note of the following modifications that will be in place when it reopens:

  • Before visiting, guests are asked to pre-screen using the province’s online screening tool, and should stay home if they have any symptoms, have travelled outside the province in the last 14 days or have been in contact with anyone who has the virus in the last 14 days;
  • Visitors are encouraged to buy their tickets online, though on-site options remain available;
  • If people are bringing children, they need to bring their own stroller or wagon. Rentals will only be available for wheelchairs or electronic scooters;
  • Visitors must enter through the entrance at 2595 Roblin Blvd., and exit at a different location west of the main entrance;
  • Outdoor areas of the zoo are open, but play structures and gift shops are closed;
  • The buildings with high-touch displays or where physical distancing is difficult will be closed. Other buildings will be open, but with measures in place;
  • The zoo will reduce its occupancy level to facilitate physical distancing;
  • Take-out food will be available at the Tundra Grill and Winston’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Vending machines will be open, and water bottle refill stations will be closed;
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at a number of locations;
  • Most washrooms will be open and cleaned three times a day;
  • Enhanced cleaning will be in place for food preparation and service areas, as well as high contact surfaces and indoor spaces;
  • Signs, as well as floor and directional pathway markings have been set up to encourage physical distancing and proper hygiene;
  • All staff and volunteers at the zoo will have to follow public health guidelines, self-isolation requirements and stay home when sick.

“We are doing our part to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19 and are asking our guests to support us in that effort when visiting the Zoo, Keats said.

He added, “We will make adjustments as permitted and required in response to evolving public health orders and guidelines.”

More information on what the zoo is doing in light of the pandemic can be found online.