We are pleased to announce that after more than three months of closure due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have finally reopened our doors to the public today.
With Local Labor MP Luke Pollard on the occasion of this ribbon cutting ceremony, we were thrilled to welcome our first visitors back to our underwater world this morning and hope to see many more of you in the coming weeks.
To ensure that you – our visitors – are completely protected from risk, we have put in place some strict measures to ensure we adhere to social distancing and hygiene rules to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit.
We are now equipped with 100 medical visors that our staff can wear on the ground and around the building, so our Ocean Discovery Rangers and other staff in front of the house can continue to provide the best customer experience without putting customers – or putting themselves – at risk .
The visors were donated by Ambassadors Sir Ben and his wife Georgie Ainslie to our aquarium, which is operated by the Ocean Conservation Charity, the Ocean Conservation Trust. The special masks were specially made for the NMA by INEOS TEAM UK – the British challenger for the 36th America’s Cup. The team is led by four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie.
Because we are run by a marine conservation charity, we rely on aquarium visitors to fund programs to restore vital habitats and change behavior. Even when it’s closed to the public, the cost of running the UK’s largest aquarium can be up to £ 10,000 a day – with the feeding of the animals increasing by an additional £ 5,000 each month.
After we reopen our doors to the public, the ticket sales generated will help keep the aquarium running and ensure our animal inhabitants stay happy – and allow us and our parent charity, the Ocean Conservation Trust, to continue our vital protection and communication work.
Our CEO Roger Maslin has this to say:
“At NMA we are doing everything we can to ensure our aquarium provides customers with a safe and enjoyable experience, and we are extremely grateful to Ben, Georgie and everyone at INEOS TEAM UK for this extraordinary species and much more -necessary donation. Behind the scenes in recent weeks, we have taken extensive security measures to ensure the safety of our customers and employees and to comply with official regulations and guidelines. The additional protective layer that these visors provide gives us even more confidence that we can safely open again.
“As the largest aquarium in the UK we have enough space for everyone and we will make sure our popular lectures and shows are available to download on our free WIFI so people can see and learn what they are like to travel the world’s oceans. We are happy to finally be able to welcome the public through our doors again this week and are grateful to those who visit us for their support. “
Ben and Georgie Ainslie said, “We are excited to support the Ocean Conservation Trust in its mission to reopen the doors to the National Marine Aquarium. Not only is it vital for visitors of all ages to be able to enjoy the experience of visiting the aquarium, but it is also imperative that the aquarium generate income that is used for ongoing conservation work and the day-to-day business of care and feeding the animals.
“Opening the doors safely meant taking measures to ensure the safety of visitors and employees. Providing PPE to employees was an easy solution and we were happy to help and looked forward to a family visit soon. “
Despite our lengthy shutdown here at the National Marine Aquarium, we have continued to connect people to the ocean – albeit remotely – by bringing exciting content online to our visitors. Have you seen any of our popular weekly live streams that drew large numbers of viewers from across the country and gave families the chance to watch rockpool and shark feed and learn a little more about the marine environment our wildlife lives in? We hope you did. But now that we’re open to business again, Ocean personal activities are resumed – from a safe social distance – and we can’t wait to see some of you soon.
THINGS WE HAVE CHANGED
Click to learn more about the security measures we have put in place to protect our visitors Here.
Don’t forget, if you want to visit us, all tickets and seats must be reserved online in advance. To book your slot, click on Here.