Paignton Zoo will re-open its doors to guests on Monday - but things will be a little different as they have put lots of measures in place to ensure guests’ safety.

Paignton ZooPaignton Zoo

Zoo staff have been working hard over the last few weeks to ensure the zoo is a safe place to visit.

The zoo will only be open to annual pass holders on Monday and Tuesday (July 6 and 7), it will re-open fully to everyone on Wednesday, July 8.

The numbers of guests will be limited each day, and all guests will be required to book an entry time slot, including annual pass holders, before they visit. This can be done on-line through their website – www.paigntonzoo.org.uk

Some of the indoor animal houses and indoor and outdoor play areas will remain closed in order to comply with social distancing guidance.

In addition, the following safety measures will be in place:

• protective screening at contact points. This includes the Information Desk, admission desks, food outlets and shop

• card payments preferred

• floor markings around the site

• hand sanitiser points around the zoo

• regular cleaning will be carried out around the zoo

• signage around the zoo to remind guests and staff of social distancing and handwashing guidance

• suggested one-way routes and lane markings around the site

• no feeding times or keepers’ talks to prevent gathering of crowds

• the Jungle Express Railway remains closed

• no face painting

• the Island Restaurant will be offering a takeaway service only. Other food outlets will be open around the zoo. Floor markings will be in place to manage queueing.

While the zoo has been closed they have had no income, apart from funds kindly raised by their supporters through their fundraising campaign.

Executive director Simon Tonge said: “We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation, run a fundraiser on our behalf, adopted an animal, and bought tickets or gifts from our Amazon Wishlist while we were closed. Your support is very much appreciated.

“We would like to emphasise that the zoo is a safe place to visit and by buying a ticket to visit us and an ice cream or coffee while you are here, you will be enabling us to get through these extraordinarily difficult times and continue our vital conservation work. Our fundraising campaign is still running so anything you can do to support it will make a massive difference.”

Kevin Foster MP will one of the first visitors to Paignton Zoo when the doors open on Monday.

He said: “Many constituents have contacted me during the lockdown, expressing their concerns and support for our much loved zoo. I am delighted it is reopening, and it will act as a flagship in encouraging tourists to return to our Bay this summer. I would also encourage local residents to join me in paying Paignton Zoo a visit as soon as they can.”

For more information about how to book and the measures have been put in place please visit www.paigntonzoo.org.uk