Suffolk attractions: Latest information on covid rules and restrictions
- Credit: Pleasurewood Hills
As of Monday July 19, face masks and social distancing measures are no longer legally required across England as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.
However, businesses are free to set their own rules - and many will be putting their own rules in place in regards to masks, social distancing and pre-booking slots.
For further information or clarification, please contact each venue or attraction before visiting.
Jimmy’s Farm, Ipswich
This Suffolk farm and wildlife park is home to range of animals and displays, including the Wonder Woods, Outback Safari, and Butterfly House to name a few.
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In line with government advice, face coverings will be optional but the farm welcomes any guests and staff to still wear one, where they feel comfortable to do so.
Social distancing signs will remain in place, and the farm’s capacity will stay the same to allow space for social distancing.
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Hand sanitiser dispensers can still be found across the site, with staff regularly topping them up throughout the day.
“We know the lifting of restrictions can be a scary time and we would like to reassure our guests that we will continue to put their safety at the top of our priority list. We are continuing to move forward safely, while trying to give our guests the best experience possible,” added a spokesperson from Jimmy’s Farm.
South Pier, Lowestoft
Lowestoft’s South Pier, at the time of writing, is awaiting full official Covid guidelines in regards to visitors.
However, a spokesperson for the pier said its staff will continue to wear face masks, use hand gel, and will continue with their regular cleaning routines throughout. Staff at the pier are also tested every couple of days.
Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket
Spanning across 75 acres of land, this Suffolk museum will “not require visitors to wear face masks at the museum from Monday July 19”, but added it would “still encourage visitors to consider wearing masks in enclosed spaces or where social distancing is not possible.”
The museum’s spokesperson added: “As an open-air museum, we are lucky to have a vast amount of space for visitors to be able to socially distance, and continue to ask visitors to be respectful of others as they move around the site.”
Hand gel and hand-washing facilities will continue to be provided across the site for visitors.
Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft
One of the region’s most popular days out, this Suffolk-based theme park will be making a number of changes in accordance with government guidelines.
In a post on its Facebook page, Pleasurewood Hills says it will remove social distancing, and pre-booking will no longer be a pre-requisite – however, those who do not pre-book will need to check in via the NHS app or the park’s own QR code which are both located on the gate. The park goes on to say while card and contactless are preferred, it will be accepting cash payments. Indoor seating will also reopen.
Mask-wearing across the park is voluntary, but guests will be required to wear masks in areas such as the Birds of Paradise display and its indoor attraction Rootin’ Tootin’ Target Trail. Exemptions apply for medical reasons, or for those aged 11 and under. Enhanced cleaning will continue across the park, and hand sanitisers and wash stations will be available.
Ocean Boulevard, Felixstowe
This seafront-based attraction has a number of activities on offer – including a mini train ride, a giant inflatable children’s slide and go karts. Customers will not be required to wear masks as everything is outside.
A spokesperson for the attraction however added that while the on-site gift shop had social distancing measures in place, they won’t be enforcing this as of Monday. Hand gel will still be provided throughout, and customers won’t need to pre-book.
Ipswich Museum, Ipswich
Situated on the town’s high street, Ipswich Museum covers both local and global history, spanning a range of time periods.
As of Monday, visitors will no longer need to pre-book their visits - apart from for bespoke events. The museum will encourage the use of face coverings, but will not enforce them. Social distancing will be encouraged throughout, and the museum’s one-way systems will remain in place.
Building capacities will stay set at their current levels, to ensure people are able to socially-distance. In addition, museum staff will continue to wear PPE as before, and protective screens and sanitiser stations will remain in place throughout.
Africa Alive, Kessingland
Set across 100 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside, visitors to Africa Alive can have the chance to see animals from both Africa as well as a number of native species.
As of Monday, visitors will be required to wear masks within the zoo’s indoor spaces, to protect both its staff and animals.
In a statement, the zoo says: “Due to the current situation and to protect you, the animals and guests to our zoos, we have decided face coverings will be required inside buildings at all times. Guests will also be expected to wear face coverings, and the signage around the parks will remain in place to remind all. Please remember some people are exempt from face coverings.”
The two-metre rule is to be relaxed around the zoo for guests, but it asks that visitors and colleagues maintain distance at all times.
The Lemur Enclosure will remain closed, in order to protect the species from Covid-19. In addition, the train and the Plains of Africa Safari will not operate this summer. This is to allow for extra educational talks outside for guests, and protect visitors from being in close proximity without protection.
Claudia Roberts, CEO of the Zoological Society of East Anglia adds: “Our biggest concern is keeping our visitors, colleagues, and the animals in our care safe. Protecting the charity’s vital revenue during our peak season which will help carry us through what could be another tricky winter and support vital conservation and community work. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to welcoming you to our zoos this summer.”
Stonham Barns Golf, Stowmarket
Open seven days a week, Stonham Barns Golf is home to Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf, an 18-hole course suitable for the whole family.
A spokesperson for the golf course says: “Customers will be advised to wear face coverings in store upon registering - but masks will not be compulsory. Also, face coverings are not required whilst playing Adventure Golf.
“Our ‘people limit’ in store will remain at four at a time, and social distancing will still be advised while playing our Adventure Golf course - although also not compulsory.”
A sanitising station can be found at the entrance of the golf shop, however there are no station around the Adventure Golf course itself.
“Stonham Barns Golf Park will continue to sanitise all of our golf clubs, golf balls and footballs after every single use to ensure that players feel safe and reassured whilst partaking in our activities, and to further prevent the spread of COVID-19,” added the spokesperson.
Beccles Lido, Beccles
This heated, open-air swimming pool on the Suffolk-Norfolk border is suitable for all ages, and as of Monday plans to relax some Covid measures while keeping others in place.
Customer-facing staff will continue wearing masks, and regular cleaning will take places throughout all the changing rooms, toilets and touch points.
“Social distancing is quite easy to achieve where we are because we’re a big, wide, open outdoor space,” says managing director Shaun Crowley.
“We have lots of space, and our picnic tables will remain socially-distanced. We will also see the return of our sun loungers, so people can relax a little bit more than they’ve been able to.
“We are going to retain our booking system, as that allows us much better control over numbers. We will be increasing the numbers in some of our sessions, but others will remain reduced. By offering a mix, our quieter sessions will appeal to those who still feel a bit nervous, and our busier sessions for those who feel a bit more confident. But we won’t be allowing in the sorts of numbers we used to pre-Covid.”
Beccles Lido will continue to provide handgel across its site, too.
Oasis Camel Park, Halesworth
Open seven days a week, Halesworth’s Oasis Camel Park is the only place in the UK where visitors can get up and personal to camels and their animal relations.
Masks will not be required when visitors are outside – however a spokesperson for the park said it will ask customers to wear them when inside any buildings. “We won’t be enforcing it as vigorously as we have been before, but we’re still going to keep our signage up. Our staff will still be wearing masks, and we’re also going to keep up the protective screens where we’ve had them.
“We’re going to recommend social-distancing still, and carry on with our extra cleaning regimes across touch points and play equipment.
Pre-booking won’t be necessary, and visitors can buy tickets on the gate on the day.
Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, Baylham
Baylham House Farm is a working livestock farm dedicated to the breeding of traditional and rare breeds, and is home to a number of sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, poultry, and alpacas.
Masks will not be required except for in the toilets where a spokesperson says: “We’re going to ask people to use their common sense, and we’re still going to ask people to wear masks when coming inside into the toilets.”
Regular cleaning will continue taking place, and handgel will be provided throughout the site.
“We have a member of staff who is on the entrance of the farm, who will continue to work behind a screen.”
The farm’s café will also continue serving a range of takeaway refreshments, as its indoor café will not be opening yet.
Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Stowmarket
Based at Stonham Aspal, Suffolk Owl Sanctuary operates a comprehensive facility for the care and rehabilitation of owls from the region – and is open to the public all year round.
A spokesperson for the sanctuary says: “The safety of our staff, visitors and volunteers is paramount, so we intend to maintain a covid-secure environment in order for visits to be stress-free.
“These precautions have been in place hitherto through the pandemic and because our venue is largely out-doors, allow pretty-much unrestricted access to the throughout the Sanctuary without inhibiting visitor enjoyment. Our only further request is that whilst the ‘bubbles’ restriction has been lifted, we do ask visitors to continue to respect social distancing between groups.”