(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Alcatraz Island to reopen for first time sine December

Alcatraz Island will reopen next week for the first time since last year, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and National Park Service announced Tuesday.

The island will reopen Monday with requirements for face masks as well as social distancing, according to the park service.

Alcatraz Island has been closed since December, when the coronavirus-related regional stay-at-home order was implemented in five counties — including San Francisco — and the city of Berkeley.

“We have been working closely with our public health partners to align our operations with local guidance and provide access to the island for the first time this year,” GGNRA General Superintendent Laura Joss said in a statement. “We expect everyone to follow CDC guidance, wear a mask, and give each other space to safely enjoy their experience at this iconic site.”

Ferries to the island will operate at reduced capacities for the time being and require advanced reservations via https://www.alcatrazcruises.com.

Access to the island’s outdoor areas like Eagle Plaza and Sally Port as well as China Alley and lower Building 64 will be open to all visitors while indoor sections like the Cell House will be limited to visitors who sign up for tours.

The New Industries Building will also feature an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Occupation by Indians of All Tribes, according to the park service. Food will not be offered on ferries to and from the island and visitors are not allowed to consume food once on Alcatraz Island.

Updates on the GGNRA and NPS’ further reopening plans can be found at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm.

-By Eli Walsh, Bay City News Foundation

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