London Zoo is getting ready to welcome visitors again after closing the gates for three months during lockdown.
Zoos and safari parks were given the green light to open their doors from June 15 in the latest lockdown easing.
London Zoo warned the Government it may face permanent closure if the site wasn't allowed to reopen soon to visitors who provide their income.
It would not just affect the zoos themselves but the conservation work they do around the world, the attraction said.
We are delighted at the news that the Government may allow ZSL London and Zoo to reopen as early as next week.
London zoo has introduced enhanced Covid-secure safety measures including:
Additional handwashing facilities and sanitiser stations
2m distance markers laid out in exhibits
One-way routes introduced to manage the flow of visitors
Zoo bosses had criticised moves to allow car showrooms, furniture stores and National Trust gardens to reopen with social distancing measures while keeping zoos and safari parks, which are largely outdoor attractions, closed.
Though the Prime Minister is announcing on Wednesday an easing of restrictions for zoos, they must not reopen indoor exhibitions, such as reptile houses, and must ensure amenities including cafes are takeaway only.
The sector is warning it still needs Government support due to the loss of revenue from venues being closed since late March.
We expect to have tickets ready to book by Friday – and everyone will need to book so we can manage capacity. We hope the support we’ve seen so far for our zoos translates to visitors coming in to support us further. But re-opening the zoos cannot be the end of the story. After being closed for so many months, reopening ZSL’s zoos will by no means be an instant fix: as an international conservation charity which relies heavily on zoo ticket sales to fund our vital work, we will still urgently need support to keep our two zoos running smoothly, our scientists investigating wildlife diseases such as Covid-19, and our conservationists working in the field to protect Critically Endangered species.