Busch Gardens set to reopen with COVID-19 safety measures in place

Posted at 4:06 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 17:14:54-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is still dormant since the coronavirus pandemic started, but it will open once again on Thursday.

“We're excited about welcoming both our teams and our guests back,” Kevin Lembke, the president of Busch Gardens Virginia, said during a press conference.

Lembke said there will be new, but familiar, protocols in place to comply with Phase 3 guidelines.

That includes, “face coverings, temperature screenings, a lot of signage around the park that will remind them about enhanced sanitation methods.”

For now, the park will only allow a maximum of 1,000 visitors and reservations must be made online.

Visitors will have two chances at the temperature readings which will be taken at the entrance. If the second temperature check reads higher than 100.4 after the first reading, you won't be allowed in.

"This situation put us in a spot where we had to reevaluate just as much as any business had,” Lembke said.

As for the rides, “We're going to control the line that comes into the boarding area,” Jodie Ingram, the park’s operations manager, said, “so we're going to put one train in at a time and we're going to maintain that social distancing."

After each ride, crews will disinfect the ride using a peroxide-based solution. Employees will wipe down the seat and any point a customer could hold onto.

“If we see there's a need to do a deeper sanitation in between that time we will take care of it,” Ingram said. "It doesn't take that long. It's a little bit longer than our normal procedures but it's not extensive length of time."

Busch Gardens also has procedures in place in response to Tropical Storm Isaias approaching.

As for the water park, there is no date as to when that will open.