MONTEREY (CBS SF) – The Monterey Bay Aquarium has delayed its highly-anticipated reopening scheduled for later this week, due to the county being placed on the state’s COVID-19 watch list.

“While this postponement is disappointing, following this guidance from the state and Monterey County Health department is in the best interest of public health and safety,” the aquarium said in a statement posted Monday.

No reopening date has been announced.

The California Department of Public Health placed Monterey County on its watch list on July 2nd, due to increased transmission of the coronavirus. After being on the list for three days, the county was asked by the state to suspend indoor operations of several types of businesses, including zoos and museums.

The aquarium intended to reopen to members on Thursday and to the general public on Monday, with numerous modifications. Under their reopening plan, both members and the public needed to reserve specific times and dates to visit, face coverings would be required and guests would be directed on one-way paths through exhibits.

Visitors who have already bought tickets will be allowed to exchange them to visit at a later date.

Located on Cannery Row, the aquarium has been closed to the public since March 12th. During the closure, the aquarium has been showing off their exhibits via their webcams.

Along with the aquarium remaining closed, the state has also asked Monterey County to suspend indoor operations of dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers and cardrooms. Meanwhile, bars in Monterey County would need to suspend operations, both indoor and outdoor, for at least three weeks.

Comments