SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens will reopen on Monday, July 13 after city officials approved their safety plan. The zoo will be open to members only from July 13 and July 14 and later to the public starting on Wednesday, July 15.

The San Francisco Zoo was going to reopen on June 29, but city officials delayed the move due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region.

According to the SF Zoo Communications Director, Nancy Chan, and the zoo’s official press release, zoo leadership worked to ensure a safe reopening by only opening outdoor attractions.

“We are grateful that SF Zoo can finally open after we’ve had our hopes, and the hopes of our loyal members and visitors, be extinguished time after time,” said Tanya Peterson, CEO and Executive Director of the San Francisco Zoological Society. “We are certainly cognizant of the importance of safety, especially now with the rise in cases, but we also know that given our outdoor setting and ability to provide ample space, we are confident our guests can maintain safe social distancing during their visit.”

The zoo’s complex safety plan requires visitors to make reservations and purchase tickets in advance. The San Francisco Zoo will only be opening to 50 percent capacity to allow for guests to socially distance from one another. Additionally, the zoo will provide heightened sanitization, require all guests and staff to wear face coverings, offer take out food only from its café, and prohibit group events.

“Safety Ambassadors,” which is a newly created position, will be present throughout the zoo to make sure that guests follow these safety protocols.