London Zoo reopened to the public on June 15 as coronavirus restrictions were eased in the United Kingdom.
The zoo had been closed for three months due to restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the first time the zoo had been shuttered since World War II.
The number of visitors to the zoo was limited to 2,000 with only pre-booked tickets available, split into morning and afternoon slots.
“It’s been a really surreal, and quite anxious, time at the Zoo without visitors on site, but we are all so excited that our efforts have paid off and we can finally welcome them back – in fact, the demand for tickets was so high on the day they went on sale that our website had a bit of a wobble, but it’s all fixed now!” said zookeeper Daniel Simmonds.
A variety of measures were put in place to ensure the zoo adhered to the government’s social distancing guidelines. Visitors were required to stand two meters apart at all times and follow three one-way trails. Hand-washing and sanitizer was also made available and food was takeaway only. All payments were contactless. Indoor exhibits were closed to the public and animal talks were suspended to prevent crowds gathering.
“While the reopening news is certainly worthy of a big celebration, it’s not the end of our fundraising efforts yet. The increased safety measures mean London Zoo will be limited to just 2,000 visitors a day – well below the numbers needed to recoup the charity’s lost income, so we really hope that we’ll continue to receive the amazing support from the public we’ve seen so far," said Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer for ZSL London Zoo. Credit: ZSL London Zoo via Storyful