Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas are set to reopen in England from Monday 15 June, Boris Johnson is due to announce.
Here’s everything you need to know.
When will zoos open?
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Boris Johnson is due to outline the next step in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions at the daily briefing on Wednesday 10 June.
He is expected to say that the both zoos and safari parks in England can reopen on Monday 15 June, as long as they follow social distancing rules.
Matt Hancock recently said that he hoped zoos would be able to reopen in a safe way, stating: “So I very much hope that we can get the zoos reopen in a safe and covid-secure way but of course, like all these things, it’s got to be done in a way that doesn’t allow the R to go above one and doesn’t allow the virus to get out of control.”
Why are zoos struggling financially?
Various zoos, including London Zoo and the UK’s biggest, Chester Zoo, have reported financial struggles during the ongoing pandemic.
Chester Zoo revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has already cost the wildlife charity a huge £5m.Visitor revenue makes up 97 percent of the zoo’s income so the closure has had a huge impact on business.
The zoo’s 35,000 animals cost £465,000 a month to care for. Additional outgoings for utilities, insurance and more on top of this means that it needs £1.6m a month in order to keep going.
Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo's chief operating officer, had said: "Not being able to open, with such massive outgoings, puts the future of the zoo itself at risk of extinction”.
London Zoo had also warned it may be forced to close permanently. Although it has furloughed its 280 staff and reduced the salaries of other staff, it still costs £2.3m a month to feed and care for all its animals.
A Downing Street official said: “People are continuing to make huge sacrifices to reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid a second spike, but we know it is tough and where we can safely open up more attractions, and it is supported by the science, we will do so.
“This is by necessity a careful process, but we hope the reopening of safari parks and zoos will help provide families with more options to spend time outdoors while supporting the industry caring for these incredible animals.”
When will drive-in cinemas reopen?
Boris Johnson will also announce easing of restrictions on outdoor attractions where people remain in their cars, such as drive-in cinemas, because the risk of spreading the disease is lower outside. They are set to be able to reopen from 15 June.
There are numerous drive-in cinemas throughout England, including Scarborough, Colchester and Billericay.
What else can reopen on 15 June?
Non-essential shops, including those selling books, clothes and electronics will also reopen on 15 June. Craft fairs can take place and charity shops can also reopen.
Places of worship will also be allowed to reopen for private prayer to take place.
Pubs in England could reopen two weeks earlier than planned on 22 June, according to reports.
Under the current timetable, pubs are due to stay shut until July at the earliest, but it is claimed that ministers are hoping to speed up the timetable in an attempt to prevent up to 3.5 million workers in the hospitality sector from losing their jobs.