You can still go to the zoo tomorrow! Animal lovers are allowed to see lions, tigers and gorillas again despite strict Tier 4 Covid ban rules
- In the change, people living under Tier 4 rules can visit outdoor areas in zoos
- Zoos have been informed of changes in regulations on Christmas Eve by the charity BIAZA
- Chessington, ZSL London Zoo and Marwell Zoo have since reopened to visitors
Animal lovers are once again allowed to see lions, tigers and gorillas in zoos across England despite Tier 4 ban rules.
In an amendment to Covid-19 legislation, people under the strict regulations can visit outdoor areas in zoos with members of their household or someone from their support bubble.
Companies were informed on Christmas Eve following notification from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) of the change in regulations that has not yet been published under the government's Tier 4 guidelines.
Many Tier 4 zoos have since announced they will be reopening, including Chessington, ZSL London Zoo, Howletts Wild Animal Park near Kent, and Marwell Zoo in Hampshire.
In a change, people can visit outside areas in zoos with members of their household or with someone from their support bubble under Tier 4 regulations (file photo)
The companies were informed on Christmas Eve by the charity BIAZA of the change in regulations that has not yet been published under the government's Tier 4 guidelines (file photo).
Marwell Zoo reopened on Sunday, Chessington and Howletts welcomed visitors again yesterday and ZSL London Zoo will reopen tomorrow.
Howletts wrote on his website: "We are pleased to announce that from December 29, 2020 you will be able to visit Howletts Wild Animal Park and our sister park Port Lympne Reserve. However, there are some restrictions."
The tickets mentioned then have to be booked online in advance, the number of tickets is limited and there are no pet owner talks or animal experiences.
At all levels, the change in government legislation states that from Boxing Day, people can visit “outdoor attractions in an aquarium, zoo or safari park”.
Visitors can also "visit outdoor animal attractions on a farm, wildlife center, or other location where animals are displayed as a public attraction."
Nicky Needham, acting joint director of BIAZA, confirmed to MailOnline that its members had been informed of the change on Christmas Eve.
Chessington in Kingston upon Thames, London, reopened yesterday. It said, "We ask everyone to be aware of local and zoo restrictions before pre-booking a ticket."
The announcement on Chessingtons website, pictured. It also states, "According to the government, Level 4 individuals can visit some public outdoor spaces, including zoos."
It follows the warning from the zoos in October that animals are threatened with extinction as a result of the pandemic, as they said they did not have access to vital resources to survive.
Kathryn England, London Zoo's Chief Operating Officer, told the BBC's Today program: “We are all about protecting animals and preventing extinction. So it's a really awful place where we actually worry about the reality of extinction.
"This is a scary place for us to be now."
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told MailOnline: "Under Tier 4 restrictions, the outdoor areas of some visitor attractions, including zoos, can remain open, provided strict protocols are followed to ensure social distancing.
"We continue to work very closely with the zoo and nature conservation sector who are committed to the welfare of their animals and making sure they get the support they need."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Christmas (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns (t) London