Everything you need to know about Colchester Zoo reopening next week
PUBLISHED: 11:28 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:39 12 June 2020
Picture: NEIL YOUNG
Colchester Zoo reopensto the public on Thursday, June 18 after a three-month closure and here is what you can expect including times, dates and rules.
Dr Dominique Tropeano, director of the zoo, said he was grateful to hear the news they could finally reopen: “The big announcement has been made and it is official, zoos are able to re-open finally.
“This is the news all zoos wanted to hear, this is the news the zoo needed so we must be grateful to all the people who have written to the Government and all the MPs who have lobbied on our behalf.
“Without this, zoos themselves could have become an endangered species.”
While the site has been given the go ahead to reopen on Monday June 15, Dr Tropeano confirmed they will not be opening to the general public until Thursday June 18 – as the guidance for reopening is only being issued tomorrow, Saturday June 13, which doesn’t give them enough time to prepare.
However, there will be a special pre-opening day, invitation only, held on Wednesday, June 17 for the supporters of Colchester Zoo who have kept it afloat during the pandemic.
Dr Tropeano said: “This day has been reserved for the hundreds of people who over the past three months have given us unbelievable support, inspiration and comfort when our moral was low.
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“So, by hosting this pre-opening day this is a gesture of a much needed thank you.
“We will use this day as a trial day just to gain experience on how to best run the new experience for when we open to visitors – a way to sharpen our pencil if you wish and to ensure we perform well and cope with all the new regulations.”
Though they are not yet sure how many people will be allowed in the park at one time, there will be a cap on attendance and Gold Passholders will be required to reserve a ticket prior to their visit.
People are also being advised to download the new app for the zoo, going live in the next few days, which has all the up to date advice about visiting.
During August, the busiest month of the year, the zoo typically receives 130,000 visitors, however social distancing could cap that number at 2,000 a day or 60,000 a month.
The park are expecting a large reduction in catering and retail sales and have warned they will need to be very careful with their spending, making decisions such as scrapping a planned future investment.
Dr Tropeano added: “We will embrace the re-opening and there is the buzz and excitement in everyone’s eyes here because of it.
“It is fair to say we have gone through a roller coaster of emotions but right now I can see there is willingness and energy in the true Colchester Zoo style to re-open and put all the horrors we have experienced behind us.”
Visit the Colchester Zoo website for more information about the reopening.
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