Yesterday, I was thinking about planning a future visit to the Newport aquarium in Newport, Kentucky so I hopped onto their website to check out tickets and scheduling. Instead of seeing their webpage, the first thing that popped up was a COVID-19 warning message.
Warning Regarding COVID-19:
Any interaction with the general public poses an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19. People who show no symptoms can spread COVID-19 if they are infected. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. The CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19. By visiting Newport Aquarium you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. - Newport Aquarium website
Now I know that every business, industry and tourist location has a COVID-19 warning in place. However, I was just surprised to see that Newport Aquarium has its warning front and center as soon as you log on to their webpage. Moreover, their final statement is very telling that they do not assume any responsibility for people being exposed to COVID-19 even if the source is from the Newport aquarium.
The Newport Aquarium which is located on 1 Aquarium Way in Newport, Kentucky is one of the best aquariums in the midwest. It is highly rated by the Reader's Choice Travel Awards and by the Zagat Survey.
The aquarium has at least 70 exhibits and 14 galleries as well as tunnels running over 200 feet in length. The aquarium was first opened in 1999 and is home to about 20,000 animals and over 90 different species. The aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Exhibits at the aquarium include Gator Alley, Amazon Tunnel, Shark Central, Penguin Palooza, a coral reef, Frog Bog, a shark exhibit, seahorses, stingrays, Dangerous and Deadly fishes, and Ring of Fire (octopuses). Some of these exhibits might be closed due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Policy in Place
Here are the steps that the aquarium is taking against COVID-19.
First, all visitors to the aquarium regardless of whether you are an annual passholder or general admission guest will have to reserve the specific date that they wish to visit the aquarium. Tickets must be purchased online. You could be turned away if you arrive without reservations. This is the best way for the aquarium to limit capacity. Please note that the reservations are also timed.
There are some play areas and animal encounter areas that will be closed but the aquarium is trying to keep most of its experiences open. There are still a ton of exhibits you can see.
Visitors to the aquarium who are over the age of 2 must wear masks. Masks are still required even if you have been vaccinated. Staff members will be around to make sure you comply with the COVID-19 rules in place. You can also eat and drink at the aquarium but restaurants will also be limiting the number of people allowed inside.
Visitors to the aquarium have mentioned that temperatures are also checked as you enter the aquarium. There will also be a metal detector check and a search of bags at the entrance.
So far, the aquarium is doing a great job at keeping their safety regulations in place. Because of the limited capacity, there are no crowds. One visitor even commented in online reviews that the stalls and sinks in the restrooms were marked to ensure physical distancing.
Overall, the COVID-19 rules in place should not deter you from having a good time at the aquarium.