Looking forward to date of reopening

Remaining positive during these challenging times has been very difficult for all at Colchester Zoo. Without the regular income from visitors the zoo’s aim has been simply to survive.

Despite being closed, the zoo still has over 10,000 animals to feed and during the winter the bills naturally increase due to more heating, electricity and additional indoor bedding as the animals are spending more time inside during the cold winter spell. Therefore, the monthly running costs of the zoo and to care for the animals remains just under half a million pounds!

The Zoo has been highly reliant on generous donations from the supportive community and we cannot express just how grateful we are for all the kindness we have received. Without this support the zoo would not be surviving and so it has been and continues to be vitally important.

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We hope that all goes to plan and we are able to open on the 12th April however we realise that this is not guaranteed at present therefore we are not opening tickets as yet.

It is thought that on reopening the zoo will have the same restrictions as before closure, if not more. Until we have clarification from the Government, we will not know for certain what the restrictions for reopening will be.

Colchester Zoo would like to reassure the community that the zoo will be a managed, safe and controlled-environment to visit after lockdown. The restricted capacity and pre-booking arrival slots will continue to help manage the number of people in the park each day. Therefore, the zoo will be an ideal attraction to come to and enjoy a safe day out to reunite with family and friends in a socially distanced environment with safety measures in place.

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Every year Colchester Zoo reviews its admission prices but it has been decided that, despite the difficulties experienced and the urgent need to generate income, upon reopening the zoo will hold its prices from 2020 until May 2021 when this will be reviewed again. Various discounts will be also be available online depending on the day of visit.

The Zoo will implement the choice for visitors to donate just £1 per ticket to its charity Action for the Wild when booking online for those who would like to support the zoo and its conservation work. If every visitor donates just £1 per ticket, we would be able to help conservation without taking from the zoo which in turn will help towards the zoo’s future.

Find out prices here.

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To begin with on reopening we will be releasing tickets 2 days in advance for both paying visitors and passholders. Both will have to book a time slot for arrival on the day of their visit up until zoo close. As restrictions ease, we will review the booking system.

We hope that by releasing tickets 2 days in advance it will avoid the high requests we receive to change and refund tickets as tickets are non-refundable and there is an admin fee to change dates. This will offer a fair opportunity for everyone to book & enjoy a safe visit

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Prior to closing Colchester Zoo implemented and enforced numerous safety measures to ensure the zoo remained a COVID-free environment and safety for staff and visitors alike.

We will be lead by Government guidance but on reopening our safety measures prior to lockdown will remain in place.

🐾 There will be a restriction on the number of visitors per day to ensure we can comply with social distancing measures.

🐾 All visitors, including passholders, must buy/reserve tickets in advance online to aid us with managing the capacity.

🐾 Tickets will be available online in times slots so that we can space out arrival times. This is based on 30-minute slots throughout the day (this refers to arrival time only).

🐾 Staff are receiving daily health checks before starting work and wearing the relevant PPE. Staff have also receive additional training.

🐾 Thorough and regular deep cleaning and disinfecting is being carried out across the zoo throughout the day.

🐾 Following Government Guidance in England, face coverings MUST be worn in ALL indoor buildings. This includes but is not limited to our Gift Shop, Guest Services, Catering Outlets, Indoor viewing areas and toilets. To read the full updated Government guidance for the public on wearing face coverings please click here.

🐾 We kindly ask all visitors to bring their own PPE including face coverings and follow personal hygiene regimes during their visit including washing hands regularly.

🐾 Signage is in place throughout the park to remind visitors to keep their distance from one another and to wash hands regularly.

🐾 We are encouraging visitors to use contactless payment whenever possible and kindly ask that cash is only used as a last resort. With the contactless limit being increased to £45.00 there should be limited need for pin entry. Our cash machine and cash back will not be available on the day of your visit.

🐾 Our indoor children’s play area remains closed. Face painting also remains closed until further notice.

🐾 Food and dining options are limited. All food at Colchester Zoo is freshly prepared on site by staff who will be in relevant PPE with their health checked daily so you can trust the food that you consume on a day out with us.

🐾 Toilet facilities are available throughout the zoo but limited as we focus on keeping the open areas more thoroughly disinfected.

🐾 Our daily public keeper talks and feeds will not take place until further notice in order to prevent crowding. You can listen to some audio talks via our App.

Whilst we will continue to do all we can to enable visitors to have a safe and enjoyable visit, it is the responsibility of our visitors to ensure they follow the guidelines to ensure their safety and others around them. Together we can ensure the zoo remains a safe place to visit for everyone.
Your visits are so important for the future of the zoo so we do hope that we will be able to welcome you back through our gates again soon.
In the meantime, please continue to stay safe and keep in touch with us on social media and support us if you can, there are many ways in which you can help. Find out more here.

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