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(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) – The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, in compliance with the phased opening plan set forth by the Governor of Virginia and consultation with City of Virginia Beach leadership, will take the first steps to welcome guests back starting June 19, 2020. New safety measures have been developed to keep guests, staff, volunteers, and animals safe, including:

  • Requiring online reservations to create a touch-free payment process
  • Limiting capacity with timed tickets, both for members and general admission
  • Guests 10 and older, staff, and volunteers required to wear face coverings, in accordance with the Virginia Governor's Executive Order 63
  • Creating one-way paths throughout the Aquarium
  • Installing signage to demonstrate social distancing throughout the Aquarium
  • Providing additional hand sanitizing stations around the Aquarium
  • Increasing sanitation procedures for high-contact surfaces in the Aquarium
  • Not accepting reservations between 1 to 2 p.m. each day for staff to conduct additional thorough cleaning and sanitization
  • Complying with all state and local regulations concerning COVID-19


"We are excited to begin reopening to guests and members, and we are pleased to implement these new policies to help protect our guests, members, staff, volunteers, and animals. Their safety is paramount, and these procedures will ensure that their only focus during a visit to the Aquarium is to enjoy themselves," said Cynthia Spanoulis, President and CEO of the Virginia Aquarium. "We are proud to be a continuing community resource and pillar of marine science, even during our closure, and we appreciate all of the support from our friends."

Other temporary changes during our wave one of opening will include closing the café and snack stand; not offering special programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and scheduled feeding presentations; and not hosting private events, summer camps, or school programs. Additionally, the Virginia Aquarium Giant Screen Theater will be closed.

The Virginia Aquarium officially opens to the public on Monday, June 19, 2020. More information about the new procedures, including a welcome back and frequently asked questions page, can be found on the Virginia Aquarium's website