From Monday Oct. 25, all visitors to Toronto Zoo will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The zoo made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the mandatory vaccination policy will apply to guests, members, business partners, contractors and all other visitors aged 12 and over.
The decision was made to protect staff, guests and the zoo’s animals that are susceptible to COVID-19, Toronto Zoo said in a statement.
“Our decision to implement this policy is based on many factors, including our responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, our guests and our animals. As a science-based institution, we fully support the evidence that vaccination protects individuals from serious illness and COVID-19 spread”, Dolf DeJong, Toronto Zoo CEO, said.
“It is also important to understand that some of our animals are susceptible to COVID-19 illness, including gorillas, orangutans, tigers and lions, to name a few. We will use every tool at our disposal to protect our animals and in particular, endangered species from developing illness due to COVID-19.”
While a zoo visit is predominantly outdoors, as the weather becomes colder, guests will be visiting indoor locations more frequently, making the vaccine policy “even more critical”, the zoo said.