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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island will reopen to the public on June 11

The theme parks made the announcement on Thursday. As previously reported, an employee appreciation day is expected on June 10.

TAMPA, Fla. — Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island will begin phased reopenings on June 11.

Guests will notice increased cleaning and safety protocols in addition to limits on the number of people who can be in the theme parks at once. A new online reservation system will help manage capacity.

There will be some big changes, including mandatory face masks requirements and some rides having fewer seats. Guests and employees will also be required to pass temperature checks before entering the parks.

“Over the past two months, we have worked with state and local health officials, third party medical and epidemiology experts, and attraction industry leaders to enhance our strict health, safety, and cleanliness standards. We are committed to the health and safety of our guests, employees, and animals in our care, and will continue to follow the guidance from health officials as conditions evolve," said Marc Swanson, interim CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc, which owns Busch Gardens. 

RELATED: Universal Orlando reopens hotels, letting guests into theme parks early

Here's a summary of changes coming to Busch Gardens:

  • Employees will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Guests age two and up will be required to wear face coverings. They're encouraged to bring their own.
  • Social distancing will be promoted throughout the parks with markings on the ground and signage
  • Contactless payments will be encouraged via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Plexi-glass will be installed in high-traffic and close-contact areas
  • Cleaning and sanitization will be increased significantly, especially in high-contact areas
  • The number of hand sanitizing stations will be increased
  • CDC guidance will be followed on temperature checks
  • All guests and employees must undergo and pass temperature screenings before entering the parks
  • There will be a single-direction flow of guests walking in some areas
  • There will be no more single-rider lines
  • Queue lines for all rides will promote physical distancing
  • Some rides will get modified seating to create distancing
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances and exits to rides
  • Rides will be sanitized more frequently
  • Open play areas will be closed unless they meet distancing protocols
  • New protocols will be implemented on water rides
  • Some components of parades and meet-and-greets will be limited or removed
  • Character interactions and photo opportunities will be modified to allow for physical distancing
  • Spacing will be increased for touchless turnstiles at entrances
  • Seating layouts in restaurants will be changed to create more distancing
  • Tables and chairs will be sanitized more frequently
  • In restaurants, condiment stations will be closed, utensils will be pre-packaged and more single-use products will be used
  • Paper menus will replace traditional menus
  • Buffet-style services will be altered or closed
  • More grab-and-go and pre-packaged food items will be added
  • Lines and shops will have markings to encourage physical distancing
  • Shops will have signs pointing guests to defined entry and exit points
  • All open animal viewing spots will have markings to promote physical distancing
  • Some tours and interactions will be limited to one-party at a time
  • Only tours that allow for social distancing can operate
  • Some animal interactions will be modified
  • Employees with flu-like symptoms cannot come to work
  • Employees are required to follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation and symptom-free periods before returning to work
  • Employees will get coronavirus-specific training

Busch Gardens and Adventure Island have launched new safety websites with more information about key operational changes. Here are the links to the two sites:

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