Coronavirus: Chester Zoo finalises 'social distancing' reopening plans

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Asian elephant calf RivaImage source, Chester Zoo
Image caption,
Visitors will be able to catch their first glimpse of elephant calf Riva Hi Way, born a few months before lockdown

Chester Zoo says it is finalising plans to reopen with special measures designed to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since it closed on 21 March due to Covid-19, the 128-acre attraction has only run virtual tours on Facebook.

All indoor animal habitats, restaurants and cafes will remain closed, but kiosks will open and extra outdoor picnic areas will be provided.

The precise reopening date has yet to be confirmed, said boss Jamie Christon.

The zoo has been running a crowdfunding campaign during the coronavirus crisis to cover its £465,000 monthly running costs.

“We have said many times throughout this crisis that we will beat this, we will bounce back,” said chief operating officer Mr Christon.

“Our teams have been working hard to install an array of 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 of our key locations and service areas.

“We’re going to be heavily limiting visitor numbers each day and every visitor must book online.”

Image source, Chester Zoo
Image caption,
P-p-pick up a penguin: this little one hatched during lockdown
Image source, chester zoo
Image caption,
Rare twin lemurs were born during lockdown at Chester Zoo