When will zoos reopen in England? Date animal parks could open again in England - and social distancing measures

Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will reopen in step two along with public libraries and community centres, the Prime Minister said

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 8:52 am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions imposed in England to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Johnson said he is “very optimistic” that he will be able to fully remove all of England’s coronavirus restrictions on June 21 but warned “nothing can be guaranteed”.

The Prime Minister urged the nation to be “prudent” by continuing to follow the rules after publishing his road map to gradually lift the third national lockdown over the coming months.

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A pair of Cheetahs look on from their enclosure as preparations are made at Exmoor Zoo ahead of the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions in June 2020 (Photo: Harry Trump/Getty Images)

But when can we expect to be able to visit zoos again?

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Boris Johnson announces roadmap out of lockdown for England- what the PM said

Here is everything you need to know.

When will zoos reopen?

Zoo personnel move coronavirus health warning signs at Chester Zoo in June 2020 (Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Zoos will reopen during step two of the four step plan, which will be implemented no earlier than 12 April.

Johnson said step two will begin “at least five weeks” after the first phase and with an announcement at least seven days in advance.

Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will reopen in this phase along with public libraries and community centres, the Prime Minister said.

Non-essential retail and personal care, including hairdressers and nail salons, will also open, along with gyms while holiday lets can be used by individuals or household groups.

Mr Johnson told MPs: “We will begin to reopen our pubs and restaurants outdoors and honourable members will be relieved there will be no curfew and the Scotch egg debate will be over as there will be no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal.”

What social distancing measures will be in place?

The Government’s guidance says “the rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings” when zoos do reopen.

In step two, that means outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households, and no indoor mixing will be allowed unless otherwise exempt; zoos at this stage should ideally be visited alone or with household groups.

This means that indoor areas of zoos – like gift shops, certain animal enclosures or cafes – will not be able to open to the public until later along the Government’s roadmap, although hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service.

The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed.

Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely.

Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.