Chester Zoo re-opens with new safety measures and bumper ticket sales after public campaign

PUBLISHED: 17:20 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:16 16 June 2020

Chester Zoo reopens with new safety measures in place Photo:John Snowdon

Chester Zoo reopens with new safety measures in place Photo:John Snowdon

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Ticket sales at Chester zoo hit record as site re-opens to eager public

Chester Zoo chameleon Photo: @chesterzooChester Zoo chameleon Photo: @chesterzoo

Chester Zoo has re-opened its gates following a public campaign that persuaded the government to end its lockdown closure. Less than a week after chief operating officer Jamie Christon warned that the zoo and its global projects to save endangered species were at risk because of lack of money thousands of families celebrated the news by buying a record number of tickets online. June entry is now sold out

Jamie said: “It’s a huge relief to see visitors back at the zoo and there’s a real buzz of excitement about the place. However, while today is celebratory, it’s important to recognise that the past three months of closure means there will still be some very challenging times ahead.

“The financial damage suffered has left a deep scar and the road to a full recovery remains uncertain. But now, as we once again start to safely welcome visitors back, we have some renewed hope that this great charity zoo has a future.”

Chester Zoo welcomes back visitors 
Photo:John SnowdonChester Zoo welcomes back visitors Photo:John Snowdon

What’s new at the zoo:

A visit to Chester Zoo will feel a bit different for a while. The first thing people will notice is that things look a little different. That’s because our teams have installed an array of new, physical safety measures. These include self-scanning ticket lanes, floor markings to clearly indicate two-metre distances, multiple hand sanitisation points, a huge amount of signage and protective screens in all key locations and service areas.

The zoo is a huge, 128-acre site but still, visitors will also notice fewer people than before. The zoo is heavily limiting visitor numbers each day and every single visitor, and member, must book online. A new area of our website has been specially built to facilitate this.

There is a raft of other things happening too. All indoor animal habitats remain closed, as are the restaurants and cafes, but outdoor food and drink kiosks are open and there are more outdoor picnic areas, while lots of fully trained staff are dotted around to ensure people keep well apart. Hard surfaces, such as touchscreen computers and cash machines are covered and out of use, and viewing windows have one metre standoff markings around them, again to prevent touching. Stringent deep cleaning is ongoing.

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