Together we can re-open safely
Following the recent announcements from the Government we are pleased to announce that we hope to re-open Colchester Zoo in July but with health and safety at the forefront. Please note that this is dependent on Government Guidance and there is not currently a definitive date for re-opening.
After over 2 long months of being closed to the public and with no regular income it is vitally important that we open again soon for the zoo to survive and continue the important work of caring for our animals.
The majority of Colchester Zoo is open-air, over 60 acres with wide pathways and open areas. We hope that this will be an ideal location for those who would like to venture outside and reconnect with nature but within a safe environment.
We are very happy to re-open – both the staff and animals have missed the visitors. However, it is important to that our visitors follow the conditions we put in place to help us remain open and keep our staff, animals and other visitors safe and healthy. Working together, Colchester Zoo will be able to remain open albeit not in the usual way we know and have enjoyed the park in the past.
We are currently carrying out the relevant risk assessments and preparing the park to ensure a safe visit for everyone. Although risk assessments and actions have already been put in place to enable staff to work safely there are further actions we are implementing to ensure health and safety when open to the public.
In order to re-open safely we will be introducing a number of restrictions and conditions which we kindly ask visitors to please comply with. We would also ask for your patience and understanding as with other businesses reopening, this is very much a learning curve and there may be tweaks and adjustments to the conditions as we try to figure out the best solutions and methods of working with one another.
🐾 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 will be based on 30-minute slots throughout the day. (this refers to arrival time only)
🐾 Zoo Passholders will not need to buy a ticket but reserve their free ticket online and follow the same process by bringing along this ticket, as well as their valid membership card, with them to enter the zoo
🐾 Additional hand sanitising stations will be introduced along the route
🐾 Some indoor areas where social distancing is not possible will remain closed until further notice along with our indoor and outdoor children’s play areas. Face painting, Lemur Walkthrough, Discovery Centre and Sensation Station also remain closed until further notice.
🐾 Dining tables will be situated outside where possible and placed apart to enable social distancing. We ask visitors not to move tables for the health and safety of yourselves and others.
🐾 All of our staff will have their relevant PPE and will have daily health checks.
🐾 We will kindly ask all visitors to bring their own PPE and follow personal hygiene regimes during their visit including washing hands regularly. Additional hand sanitising stations are also going to be in place throughout the park. Although we plan to have PPE available for visitors to purchase this will be limited therefore encourage visitors to bring their own.
We appreciate that a visit to Colchester Zoo under these circumstances is far from the first-class experience which we have previously strived to offer and unfortunately, we have had to come to terms with the fact it will not return to ‘normal’ for a long while yet. We need to adapt together to the ‘new normal’ and make the most out of the beautiful parkland that we can with these measures in place.
We hope to introduce an app to help you during your visit identify where you are on the route, where hand sanitising stations are and will send you reminders to wash your hands and keep your distance. We will do all that we can to help keep you safe and kindly ask that you do all you can to help keep yourself and others safe too.
Please be kind and thoughtful of others. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 please do not visit Colchester Zoo. Help us keep the zoo a virus free destination for all to enjoy. On your visit, wash your hands often, keep your distance from others who are not part of your party. If you must sneeze or cough please do so into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of immediately – do not sneeze or cough into your hand or into the air.
We understand and appreciate that there will be a number of questions surrounding our re-opening therefore have put together FAQs to reassure you of all the safety measures we have in place.
With all of the above in place we hope that you will have confidence that we are doing all we can to help keep the zoo a safe and enjoyable place to visit.