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Monterey Bay Aquarium will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) It's the biggest attraction on the peninsula. But, if you want to say hello to some of your favorite sea creatures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, be prepared to have your vaccination card handy. Starting Nov. 1, anyone 12 years and older will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Visitors 18 years and older will also need to show a valid photo ID to enter the Aquarium.

While many KION spoke to didn’t mind the idea of having their vaccination card or negative test results ready to go, others aren't on board.

“I completely disagree with it. I think that there are people who have medical exceptions and there are reasons why they can’t be vaccinated. And to discriminate against it is just ridiculous to me,” said Shannon Lado visiting from Lodi.

“I’m all for the vaccine and if you choose not to, and of course I do understand the choice, but I have the choice to not be around you,” Rodney Ketchum, visiting from Ventura County

However, even those who don’t mind showing proof of vaccination say the COVID precaution could lead to other issues.

“There are fake cards and it’s too easy to fake those cards, said Judy Haye. "As long as they continue with the mask, I think the cards are fine,” added Steve Coll, both visiting from Antioch, California.

Because of the risk of fake cards, many said the mask requirement should remain in place, especially since the Monterey Bay Aquarium brings in thousands from all over, and the majority of your visit is spent inside.

“I want to know who I am standing next to has been vaccinated versus, I have no idea. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to go, it just means I might stand… this far away,” said Greg Bernson visiting Marin County, as he took a large step to the left.

Some traveling from hours away think it might keep potential visitors away. The Aquarium had been closed for months during most of last year and staff had been furloughed, so turning away any potential visitor may be reducing the number of gains after lost revenues.

“If people want to see it bad enough I don’t think that should hinder them at all,” Haye.

What if you don’t have your CDC vaccination card? There are various forms of vaccination you can show including a photo of your original card.

As of right now, these are the forms of vaccination records the Aquarium is accepting:

  • original copy or photo of CDC vaccination card (or any and similar document from an other state, local, or foreign government)
  • California SMART Health Card

As for the negative COVID-19 test result, the test document needs:

  • to be made within 72 hours of the visit
  • show name, date, type of test and the negative COVID-19 result
  • come from lab-run polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid antigen test. They will not accept at home test restults.

You can visit the Aquarium website for the latest information.

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.

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