Northern Ireland’s 25 zoo licence holders can reopen their businesses to the public from 3 July 2020, after closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced.
The Minister said that all current zoo licence holders in Northern Ireland can reopen in line with Executive’s decision to relax restrictions in respect of visitor attractions.
Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to announce that zoos and similar businesses are free to operate once again. I am aware that, due to previous necessary restrictions, these businesses and their animals were facing very uncertain times. However, they will now be able to commence bookings, plan for visitors and, most importantly, generate income to look after the animals in their care.”
This move, like other recently announced relaxations in the world of retail, tourism and hospitality, is conditional upon the rate of transmission of Covid-19 being controlled.
All zoo licence holders who wish to open must ensure that the Public Health Agency guidance on hygiene is followed and that measures are in place to maintain social distancing.
Minister Poots continued: “Not only will the re-opening of these businesses help provide them with much needed financial stability, it is also a move towards restoring a sense of normality which can dramatically improve general wellbeing. I would also stress the need for visitors to act responsibly when attending a zoo and continue to play their part in reducing Covid-19 risks for everyone.”