Legoland, Chessington, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park have all announced they will reopen on July 4 with new anti-Covid measures in place.
Boris Johnson today gave the green light for theme parks to reopen to the public as Britons were told pubs, haircuts and weddings can make a return from next month.
The parks will operate with ‘significantly reduced numbers,’ with guests asked to book tickets online and wear face coverings on rides and rollercoasters if they are over the age of six.
Visitors to the majority of theme parks will also have their temperatures checked before entering the parks, staff will wear PPE, and distance markers will be in place to ensure social distancing.
New safety measures at Britain’s theme parks will include:
- Reduced guest capacity inside parks and attractions
- Closure of indoors facilities and modification of experiences
- Face masks and coverings required on the majority of rides for those over six
- Introduction of cleaning, hygiene stations and hand sanitiser at key locations
- Temperature checks on guests and employees wishing to enter the parks
- Distance markers inside the theme parks to ensure social distancing
- Visitors asked to book tickets online and in advance
- ‘Grab and go’ options for food outlets with card-only payments
- Social distancing on rides, rollercoasters and within live shows
- Perspex ‘hygiene screens’ in place at service and food counters
Hygiene screens have been implemented across the Legoland Resort including at service counters and food counters to help keep a safe distance between guests and employees
Alton Towers in Staffordshire will open the ‘majority’ of rides and outdoor attractions from next week, though some indoor facilities will remain closed for now.
It comes after the Alton Towers Gardens opened to the public earlier this month.
The park’s resort hotels will also resume bookings with limited capacity, and guests are asked to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of coronavirus.
Emma Catterall, divisional director at Alton Towers Resort, said: ‘It is fantastic that we can now confirm that our theme park and accommodation will reopen from 4th July.
‘We can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best, and we’re working hard to make sure that we’re implementing the new hygiene and distancing measures in a way that will still allow our guests to enjoy a memorable, fun visit to Alton Towers Resort.’
Thorpe Park in Surrey has also announced it will reopen ‘a number of our rides and attractions’ from next month with new safety measures in place.
Bosses confirmed that a number of facilities, including indoor attractions, will remain closed for the time being ‘in line with the UK Government response to the coronavirus measures.’
Chessington World of Adventures Resort confirms its Theme Park will re-open on July 4 with robust hygiene and safety measures in place, including enhanced cleaning of its ride
The Swarm at Thorpe Park Resort will be amongst the rides available to guests upon the Resort’s re-opening from July 4 and will undergo enhanced cleaning measures throughout the day
Similarly, Legoland will have reduced capacity when it reopens on July 4, with the park asking guests to be prepared to use contactless payment methods inside the attraction.
Temperature checks and social distancing on rides will also be in place at the Windsor theme park, and live shows will go ahead with distancing measures in place.
In a statement, Karen Glassey, Operations Director said: ‘In line with the latest Government guidance, we are excited to confirm that we will be reopening LEGOLAND Windsor on Saturday 4th July – we can’t wait to welcome you back!
‘Your safety and our team’s safety continues to be our top priority and this is the first step of a phased reopening.
‘To ensure a safe, brilliant day out with us, we are reopening the Park with a limited capacity and to help us manage this, it is really important that you pre-book your tickets online in advance.
‘Our LEGOLAND Hotels will also be reopening on 4th July and like with the theme park, we will be taking fewer bookings than before to ensure social distancing measures can be observed.’
Chessington World of Adventures will reopen its theme park and resort hotels from July 4, after its car park acted as a coronavirus testing facility throughout the pandemic
A staff member in a face mask cleans a ride at the Chessington World of Adventures today
Chessington World of Adventures will reopen its theme park and resort hotels from July 4, after its car park acted as a coronavirus testing facility throughout the pandemic.
It is unclear whether this will continue on site.
Indoor attractions and interactive areas will be ‘temporarily unavailable’ or modified, and empty seats will be left between guests on rides.
The announcements came as the Prime Minister today announced pubs, haircuts and weddings can return and gave family and friends the green light to meet up indoors for the first time in months.
Throwing the dice to save the stricken economy, the PM told the Commons that England is coming out of ‘hibernation’ with bars, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers able to get back up and running from July 4 – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.
He announced that the social distancing rule is being halved to ‘one metre plus’ to free up thousands of business, with precautions such as face masks deployed to make sure the risks of transmission stay ‘broadly’ the same.
Employees at Legoland Windsor Resort will be wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for some of their tasks including at security
Boris Johnson today gave the green light for theme parks to reopen to the public as Britons were told pubs, haircuts and weddings can make a return from next month
Staycations are also back on the agenda, with hotels, campsites and holiday cottages permitted as long as they comply with ‘Covid secure’ guidelines.
Church services – including wedding ceremonies for up to 30 people – can restart, but there is a ban on singing as it poses a ‘particular’ threat of spread.
Two households will be allowed to gather indoors, in their homes or at a restaurant or museum, with no limit on numbers. Currently there is a ceiling of six people outdoors, which was seen as disadvantaging bigger families.
But they will have to observe social distancing, meaning grandparents will have to wait a bit longer to hug their grandchildren. A mooted expansion of social ‘bubbles’ to allow people to mix freely has seemingly been shelved.
Nail bars, gyms and swimming pools will also remain off limits after officials decided they are currently too dangerous to operate.
Mr Johnson insisted the overhaul has been approved by medical chief Chris Whitty and science chief Patrick Vallance. He said a ‘new but cautious optimism is palpable’ in the country, and the ‘bustle’ was returning to the streets. ‘Today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end.’
However, in a sign of the risks involved, Mr Johnson warned that there ‘will be flare ups’ and changes will be reversed immediately if people abuse the new rules.
‘We have been clear that our cautious relaxation of the guidance is entirely conditional on our continued defeat of the virus,’ he told MPs.
What can re-open on July and what will have to remain closed?
Boris Johnson unveiled a widely expected relaxation of the lockdown in England today.
Bars, pubs, restaurants, bingo halls and hairdressers ware among venues that will be allowed to reopen from July 4 as long as they are ‘Covid secure’, meaning they have social distancing measures in place, which means keeping people apart plus extra measures like screens and masks.
But others will be forced to remain closed as they are still seen as too high rick to be allowed to open their doors.
They include indoor gyms, nail bars, tattoo parlours and nightclubs.
Here is a list of what can and cannot open from July 4 under new the lockdown plan.
Reopening from July 4
- Restaurants and cafes – tables one metre apart but facing away,
- Bars and pubs – customers sign a guest book, order by app where possible;
- Hotels and B&Bs – without buffet breakfasts and meals from room service;
- Holiday homes
- Campsites and caravan parks – only where they can comply with hygiene guidance in shared washing and toilet facilities;
- Places of worship – singing is banned as it poses a ‘particular’ risk;
- Libraries – books to be quarantined when handled by the public;
- Community centres – with limits on use and strict distancing;
- Museums and art galleries – extra ventilation and one-way systems
- Workplace canteens – with contactless payment where possible;
- Cinemas – rows of seats left empty to maintain distance and
- Bingo halls – tables arranged to face away;
- Theatres and concert halls (but no live performances) – singing not allowed due to risk of spread;
- Barbers and hair salons – screens separating stations, minimal conversation;
- Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms – limits on numbers and advice to wash hands;
- Funfairs, theme and adventure parks, arcades – rides to be scrupulously cleaned, and run at lower capacity if necessary;
- Indoor leisure centres and facilities including indoor gaming – some sports such as squash courts still not allowed;
- Social clubs, model villages
- Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos and safari parks, farms and wildlife centres – hygiene precautions and capacity restrictions;
Remaining closed after July 4
- Bowling alleys
- Ice skating rinks
- Indoor play areas, including soft play
- Nail bars and beauty salons
- Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
- Indoor fitness and dance studios
- Indoor gyms and sports venues and facilities
- Swimming polls and water parks
- Exhibition and conference centres where used for external events