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Chester Zoo unveils safety measures ahead of reopening

rhinos at chester zoo UK Zoo Animals Fund

Chester Zoo is preparing to reopen safely and has installed a host of new physical safety measures. The attraction hopes to reopen soon, amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Chester Zoo, which is yet to identify a reopening date, will feature self-scanning ticket lanes and floor markings to indicate social distancing.

In addition, there will be multiple hand sanitisation points, and an array of signage and protective screens in all key locations and service areas.

The zoo will heavily limit visitor numbers every day, and all visitors – including members – must book in advance online via a new area on the website.

Social distancing and sanitisation at Chester Zoo

According to an update, all indoor animal habitats will remain closed, as will restaurants and cafes. Outdoor F&B kiosks will be open, and Chester Zoo has increased outdoor picnic areas.

Staff will be fully trained and available to help with social distancing, and stringent deep cleaning and disinfecting will be ongoing.

Hard surfaces, such as touchscreen computers and cash machines, will be covered and out of use. Viewing windows will also have social distancing markings to prevent touching.

Visitor revenue makes up approximately 97 percent of Chester Zoo’s income. However, the zoo still has very high costs to ensure that its 35,000 animals receive care.

Indoor animal habitats remain closed amid COVID-19

Many charities and organisations are able to limit expenses during coronavirus, but Chester Zoo spends £465,000 per month just looking after its animals and plants.

“We have though said many times throughout this crisis that we will beat this, we will bounce back and we won’t ever stop our fight to prevent extinction,” said COO Jamie Christon.

“As ever, we are incredibly grateful to all of our staff, our members, our visitors and our vast support network for helping to protect our fantastic organisation through this.”

Chester Zoo recently teamed up with Internet of Elephants to launch the Pokémon GO of wildlife, an augmented reality (AR) app called Wildeverse.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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