TAMPA, Fla. – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's reopening plans have been approved by Hillsborough County officials.

What You Need To Know

  • Busch Gardens reopening plans approved by county 

  • New safety measures, precautions have been developed for reopening

  • Face masks, temperature checks would be required

The plans, which also pertain to Adventure Island water park, include a number of measures that will be implemented to keep employees and visitors safe.

All employees and visitors will be required to wear face masks to enter the parks. The face mask requirement applies to visitors ages two and older. Employees and visitors will also be required to undergo temperature checks.

To promote social distancing, signage and ground markers will be placed throughout the parks, including in ride queues and at retail shops. Seating at restaurants will also be rearranged to maintain physical distancing.

Single rider lines will be removed from attractions and seating will be modified. Specific protocols will be implemented for water rides, according to the plans. Rafts, tubes and other ride vehicles at the water park will be cleaned more frequently.

Increased sanitation procedures will also be put in place, including frequent cleaning of “high-contact” areas. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed throughout the parks.

“We are following the CDC guidelines and the advice of outside medical consultants to reopen Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island safely,” Busch Gardens said in a statement. “We have developed a range of precautions and safety measures all of which are designed to provide our employees and guests a safe, healthy, and clean environment. We hope to make official announcements regarding Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island soon, as we continue to work closely with state and local officials."

Busch Gardens’ plans, which did not include a reopening date, will still need to get approval from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and eventually Gov. Ron DeSantis.

However the plans are similar to plans parent company SeaWorld submitted to Orange County officials on Wednesday for its Orlando parks. SeaWorld hopes to reopen SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove to the public on June 11. Those plans were endorsed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and have since been sent to the governor for approval.

Prior to closing in mid-March, Busch Gardens was gearing up to debut its new Iron Gwazi roller coaster. 

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