Another activity to add to the to-do list.
Zoos and safari parks have been told they can reopen from Monday June 15, with strict social-distancing measures. It is expected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will officially announce this news at today’s (June 10) daily COVID-19 briefing. [Featured Image: @zsllondonzoo, Instagram]
This announcement follows fears that zoos would be bankrupted if they weren’t permitted to continue business throughout the summer.
Zoos had been told to expect to be closed indefinitely. However, many “save our zoos” campaigners, alongside zoos themselves, spoke of the potential dangers to their business if this was to happen. Chester Zoo even launched a fundraiser to keep it afloat, which gathered £800,000 in just 24 hours. Stanley Johnson, father of the Prime Minister, also endorsed calls for the government to rethink their strategy on zoos.
As things stand, zoos will be banned from opening indoor exhibits, such as reptile or butterfly houses. Cafes and restaurants are also permitted to serve takeaway only.
“People are continuing to make huge sacrifices to reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid a second spike, but we know it is tough and where we can safely open up more attractions, and it is supported by the science, we will do so,” said a Downing Street official, speaking to The Guardian.
“This is by necessity a careful process, but we hope the reopening of safari parks and zoos will help provide families with more options to spend time outdoors, while supporting the industry caring for these incredible animals.”
Johnson is also expected to allow drive-in cinemas to open from next week. However, the status of pubs and bars is still to be confirmed. He had previously said that pubs and bars will remain closed until at least July 4, but government ministers are currently working on plans to speed up the reopening.