CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Attractions across the state are reopening their doors following Governor McMaster’s order that allows them to.
If you are planning a trip to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, you must buy your tickets online.
All tickets now require a date and time stamp to make sure capacity is limited in the building. The aquarium is operating at about a 20 percent capacity.
The new guidelines are in place to allow for social distancing.
There are also hand sanitizing stations and signs posted about the new rules.
For the safety of guests and staff, some areas of the aquarium are closed like the gift shop, cafe and other high-touch areas.
All staff are required to wear masks at all times and guests are highly encouraged to.
The aquarium is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last guest are admitted at 4 p.m.
“Our community has made the Aquarium a popular gathering place for families, friends and guests for two decades and we look forward to welcoming everyone back,” said Kevin Mills, South Carolina Aquarium president and CEO. “We are reopening in a way that ensures the safety and health of our guests and our team, drawing upon the best available scientific data and meeting – or even exceeding – published government guidelines.”
The Aquarium says it made the difficult, decision to close its doors to the public on March 16. Officials say the past nine weeks have been challenging yet rewarding with the Aquarium maintaining connection to the community with virtual visits as well as continued animal care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Area resident Janet Carter visited the aquarium on Saturday morning.
"It's nice to be out we're a little nervous, we have a toddler," Carter said. "We are being careful to do our best to stay six-feet a part, which is difficult, and we have our masks on and making sure we're being careful."
In celebration of the Aquarium's 20th birthday this week. There is $20 off annual memberships until Monday.
"[We wanted] to get our toddler out, she loves the aquarium," Carter said. "She asked about it the other day and it kind of broke our hearts that we couldn't take her, but when they reopened we were pretty excited."
To purchase tickets and to learn more about the new safety guidelines visit their website.