What does the High Tier mean for visits to Colchester Zoo?

It has been no secret that zoos have faced difficulties during the Pandemic and now that Colchester Zoo’s county, Essex, has been put into the High Tier category the zoo’s fight for survival becomes even harder.

Despite Colchester Zoo being within the High Tier bracket as of Saturday 17th October, the zoo remains a safe place to visit with the same restrictions and safety measures in place as before. The majority of your visit to Colchester Zoo is outside and all visitors must wear face coverings in indoor areas unless they have a valid exemption. 

Following the announcement, we have received a high volume of calls and enquiries regarding visits. We hope that the following information helps to answer your questions and we would ask that you email any further queries you may have to enquiries@colchesterzoo.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We kindly ask for your patience during this extremely busy time.

Being in a High Tier area means that households and bubbles are not to mix indoors with one another however the Rule of 6 remains in place in public outdoor settings such as Colchester Zoo.

Those in Medium and High Tier areas are welcome to visit Colchester Zoo with the safety measures we already have in place. Those from Very High Tier areas, we kindly ask that you do not visit Colchester Zoo until your local alert level reduces to either Medium or High Tier in line with the Government Guidance.


As a result of infection rates rising in Essex we have reduced our daily capacity to ensure the safety of staff and visitors which paramount to us. Tickets are currently available to purchase until the 1st November, we have taken the decision to postpone any further ticket releases until closer to the 2nd November due to the changing situation and to avoid any disappointment.

Pre-booked Tickets

For any visitors who have purchased tickets to visit Colchester Zoo or The Trail of Terror who are unable to visit due to their local alert level, on request, we will be happy to review your ticket purchase to ensure you do not lose out. Please note, depending on the circumstance, an admin fee maybe charged.

If you are unable to visit due to your local alert level please email us at enquiries@colchesterzoo.org and we will review and respond to your request as soon as we are able.


For those who have Animal Experiences booked who are unable to participate due to their local alert level we will be happy to reschedule your experience free of charge on request to another date. Unless we contact you to reschedule your experience you can safely assume your experience is safe to go ahead as usual. Please email us if you would like to do this and we will respond to your request as soon as we are able.

Donate Today

With the further reduction in visitor capacity and continuation of offering under 3s to visit free of charge the fight for survival has become harder than ever before and without your visits unfortunately the future does not look bright for the zoo. If you would like to give a donation to help towards Colchester Zoo’s future you can do so via the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund here.

Your safety remains paramount to us and we will continue to do our utmost to ensure Colchester Zoo continues to be a COVID-free environment and so kindly ask you to follow all the safety measures we have put in place during your visit.

Click here for Government information about the High Tier Local Alert Level.

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