Coronavirus: zoos and safari parks will reopen from June 15 – PM


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PA Media

London Zoo said it faces an “uncertain future”

Zoos, safari parks and cinemas with drivers are slated to reopen in England from Monday, PM said.

Boris Johnson is expected to outline the latest step in relaxing the coronavirus lockout during Wednesday’s daily briefing.

He will say that outdoor attractions can reopen as long as they respect the rules of social distancing.

Some zoos, including the Chester Zoo and the London Zoo, reported financial difficulties during the pandemic.

This decision will pave the way for the reopening of zoos in England alongside non-essential stores, which may also open from June 15.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said Tuesday that “we continue to comply” with the government’s five tests to lift coronavirus locking restrictions, so that retailers can open as long as they follow safety guidelines.

He also said that pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers can only reopen on July 4 “as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, Johnson will confront MPs on Wednesday with questions from the Prime Minister after the government plans to reopen all primary schools in England by summer.

Earlier this week, the Chester Zoo – which has been closed since March 21 – said its future was “on the lookout”, despite the government’s commitment to provide financial support.

And last month, the London Zoo – closed since March 20 – said it faced an “uncertain future” without immediate support.

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AFP / Getty Images


Chester Zoo said its future was “on the lookout” earlier this week

The Prime Minister is expected to announce on Wednesday that outdoor attractions where visitors stay in their cars may reopen as the risk of the disease spreading is lower outside.

However, zoos will be advised that they should not reopen indoor exhibits, such as reptile houses, and must ensure that amenities, including cafes, are take-out only.

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Downing Street official said, “People continue to make huge sacrifices to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and avoid a second spike, but we know it’s difficult and where we can open more attractions safely , and this is supported by science, we will.

“It is necessarily a painstaking process, but we hope that reopening the safari parks and zoos will help families have more options for spending time outdoors while helping the industry take care of these incredible animals. ”

The government says it has already provided £ 14 million to support zoos.

They were also eligible to apply for a “range of support programs”, including business rate relief, during the pandemic.

Andrew Hall, spokesperson for Biaza – the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums – said he was “delighted” by the announcement, but added that the sector had “not come out of the woods”.

“The aquariums are still closed, and the zoos and safari parks have taken a real hit,” he said.

“For some zoos, especially those dependent on tourism, the reopening will not be financially viable for them. ”

He said the announcement was “not the complete answer” and that government support would still be needed, especially with limited entry.

He added: “Zoos and aquariums in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will always face significant challenges and we will work hard to achieve positive results in these countries. “


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