BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Planning on taking a trip to the National Aquarium soon? Don’t forget to bring your COVID-19 vaccine card.

Starting on Jan. 25, all guests age 12 and older will be required to provide proof that they’re fully vaccinated before they’re allowed into the National Aquarium.

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The policy change is part of the aquarium’s effort to protect guests, staff, volunteers and animals from COVID-19 as infections and hospitalizations soar in Maryland.

Chief executive officer John Racanelli said the health and safety of visitors, employees and animals are the aquarium’s top priorities.

“Since the pandemic began, we have grounded our policies and practices in the best available science,” Racanelli said. “This led us to require our own staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated, and it now compels us to extend that commitment to all who visit. The science is clear: this is singularly the best way to protect public health and reduce transmission of the virus.”

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Under the policy, the aquarium will accept proof of any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, including Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Guests must have gotten their full dosage at least 14 days before their visit.

Acceptable forms of proof include: the original or a copy of their CDC or state-issued vaccination card; a printed record of their vaccination from a vaccine provider; or a digital version of their vaccination proof from Clear App, MyIR Mobile, Excelsior Pass.

Besides that, visitors ages 18 and up must also bring a copy of their matching photo ID, which could include their driver’s license, government ID, passport or school ID.

Guests who have religious or medical reasons for not being vaccinated will be admitted as long as they can provide proof of a negative test result within 48 hours of their visit.

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To learn more about the policy, visit the National Aquarium’s website.

CBS Baltimore Staff