COLCHESTER Zoo has confirmed it will reopen to visitors for the first time in more than three months on Monday.

Under the latest stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown non-essential shops, hairdressers and hospitality firms with outside space can reopen next week.

The rule changes, coming into place from Monday, also mean attractions such as zoos can reopen.

Colchester Zoo has confirmed it will welcome back visitors on this date, a much-needed boost for struggling facility.

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Managing director Dr Dominque Tropeano OBE warned the experience would be a little different than usual.

“Reopening will bring some issues. Our daily number of visitors will be limited to comply with current restrictions, therefore you may be disappointed as we appreciate it will be difficult to get a ticket,” he said.

“We still need income from visitors so will share our daily attendance between paying visitors and Gold Passholders, but we hope by May restrictions will be less severe.

“I hope you will see and agree we are doing our best for everyone but at the same time we need to stay alive and positive building up some cash reserve just in case there is another twist around the corner.”

Chelmsford Weekly News: Picture: Tom SmithPicture: Tom Smith

What rules will be in place?

The experience at the zoo may be a little different, at least for now. 

Here are the rules and regulations which will be in place:

  • The zoo will be operating at reduced capacity to maximise social distancing space.
  • All tickets must be booked for a specific timeslot in advance with a certain amont available to both passholders and the paying public.
  • Just open air areas will be open for the time being, however, this is most of the zoo.
  • Only groups of up to six people, or from two households, are able to attend. 
  • Staff will wear the relevant PPE and receive daily health checks.
  • Food and dining options are limited so visitors and all eateries which are open will be takeaway only.
  • Contactless payments are encouraged wherever possible.
  • Daily public keeper talks and feeds will not take place until further notice in order to prevent crowding.
  • Face masks must also be worn in all areas indoors. Visitors should bring their own PPE. 

To find out more about the zoo’s reopening plans, visit