Strict new rules at Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Thorpe Park
Theme parks across England have been legally permitted to re-open to the public - with a number of safety measures in place.
Many of country's most popular theme parks - including Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Thorpe Park - have been open since this date.
However, thrill seekers and families visiting the parks will be met with a very different experience than the one they might have had pre-pandemic.
What new measures are in place?
Though rules will vary slightly from park to park, attractions are following similar measures in order to meet industry standards for safety.
Visit England has awarded 'We're Good to Go' certifications to attractions that meet this standard, assuring guests that they'll find sufficient protective measures in place on their visit.
Here's a round-up of what most theme parks are doing...
- Some rides will be closed where social distancing cannot be reasonably practiced. You'll be expected to maintain a social distance from others around the park, as well as when standing in queues for rides.
- Many parks are also asking guests to bring masks along with them, to be worn on rides. People with certain conditions, and some age groups, may be exempt from this rule, so make sure to check the guidelines before you arrive.
- Parks will be operating a strict cleaning regime, with staff in protective gear and communal areas (like toilets) regularly disinfected to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
- When dining in parks, you'll likely have to follow similar rules to those implemented in restaurants, with servers coming to your table to take your order and seating spaced out for social distancing.
- If you're staying overnight at a park, similar hygiene and distancing measures will be in place at your accommodation to keep everybody safe.
Do I need to book in advance?
Most parks are now operating a system whereby you must book tickets online in advance of your trip.
This is to limit the amount of people allowed on-site at one time, to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
You should book online as early as possible to avoid disappointment, and try to bring your tickets electronically (on your phone) to the park to minimise contact.
You should head to the website of the attraction you're hoping to visit in order to see more information about guidelines and advance booking.