Working together we can remain open for safe enjoyable visits to Colchester Zoo
Following the announcements from the Government Colchester Zoo re-opened on Thursday 18th June with health and safety at the forefront.
After many long months of being closed to the public and with no regular income it was vitally important that we opened again 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 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.
We are very happy to open once again – both the staff and animals have missed the visitors. However, it is important 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 have carried out the relevant risk assessments and have prepared the park to ensure a safe visit for everyone. In order to re-open safely we have introduced 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 are 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).
🐾 Zoo Passholders do not need to buy a ticket but MUST 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. Passholders may enter after 2.30pm without booking a slot but entry will be on a one-out, one-in basis and cannot be guaranteed.
🐾 Additional hand sanitising stations are available along the Social Distance Route which is in place to guide visitors around the park safely.
🐾 Toilet facilities are available throughout the zoo but limited as we focus on keeping the open areas more thoroughly disinfected.
🐾 Some indoor and walk-through areas are open, however our indoor children’s play area is remaining closed until further notice. Face painting is also closed until further notice.
🐾 Dining tables are 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 have their relevant PPE and have daily health checks in the mornings.
🐾 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. We have face masks available to for visitors to purchase however these are limited therefore encourage visitors to bring their own.
To read our full health and safety document which you will receive upon booking your tickets please click here.
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 are adapting together to the ‘new normal’ and hope to make the most out of the beautiful parkland with these measures in place.
We have now also introduced a Colchester Zoo 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.
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.