National Park Service announces Alcatraz reopening next week

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 09: Alcatraz Island is seen in this view from the bay on Monday, March 9, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

The National Park Service said Thursday that it will resume recreational access to Alcatraz Island following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health officials.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which controls the island, will restore ferry operations to the island, access to interior sections of the island like Building 64 and the warden's house and outdoor areas like Eagle Plaza and the recreation yard.

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The GGNRA closed operations at many of its parks in March due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

People on the Alcatraz trail system will also be required to proceed in one direction to promote physical distancing. The changes will go into effect Monday.

"The health and safety of our visitors and employees are our highest priority," GGNRA General Superintendent Laura Joss said. "We are pleased to begin welcoming back visitors, to provide a great outdoor experience on Alcatraz Island, and to allow our partners and staff to tell the important stories of this unique Bay Area icon."

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Visitors to Alcatraz Island are advised to purchase ferry tickets online and review coronavirus safety guidelines at The park service will also post updates about its operations amid the pandemic online.

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