21 March 2020

The latest statement from Chester Zoo

Explore more Zoo news

Following Government advice on social distancing, Chester Zoo will close its gates to visitors for the foreseeable future, from 4.30pm today, Saturday 21 March.

How long this will be for, we simply don’t know, but we really hope it plays a part in slowing down the spread of this awful virus.

Rest assured, that our incredibly dedicated animal experts, including zookeepers, vets and scientists will continue to ensure that the animals at the zoo enjoy the same levels of care and attention they receive all year round. Meanwhile, various other teams will be working from home and will continue fighting to give a brighter future for endangered species all around the world.

As always, we’re humbled by the ongoing and unwavering support we receive from our members, visitors and other supporters and know you will have all sorts of questions about your bookings with us. Please take a look at the FAQs below and hopefully they will help to answer them for you.

Keep an eye on the zoo’s social media channels and website as we try to deliver as much positive news and updates about the animals to you as we can throughout this difficult period. There’s nothing like a happy new-born baby animal to lift your spirits!

Stay safe everyone, look after each other and those in your community who need it most and, when this is all over, let’s all get back together at our amazing zoo and prevent extinction like never before.

See you soon…

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long will Chester Zoo stay closed?

We will continue to monitor the ever-changing coronavirus situation, whilst also following the very latest advice and guidance by the Government and World Health Organisation (WHO).

What will happen further down the line, we simply don’t know, but will be sure to provide you with updates as soon as we have them.

For those who would like to stay in touch with the zoo, please follow our social media pages for the latest animal updates, births and content and sign up to receive our e-newsletter.

What is Chester Zoo doing to minimise risk to staff who will be caring for the animals?

With the continued worldwide concerns associated with coronavirus, the zoo is closely following the very latest Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) advice. As a world-class organisation we are, of course, taking every precaution for both staff and animals under our care. Our expert teams have always had a strict set of biosecurity measures in place given that we’re home to so many rare and precious species. Our conservationists will continue to ensure that the animals enjoy the exact same levels of care and attention they receive all year round.

Staff with underlying health conditions as well as those who are pregnant or over the age of 70 have been asked to stay home for the foreseeable future and take preventative measures as recommended by the Government and WHO

What happens to my membership now you are closed?

Our family of members mean the world to us and your ongoing support is vital now more than ever. As you can’t visit us at the moment we would like to offer you an additional month of membership free of charge. If we are asked to remain closed for more than a month then we’ll review this again and will be in touch.

You don’t need to contact us to receive this additional month of membership as we’ll change your end date automatically.

If your membership was due to automatically renew by direct debit in March, we will renew this as planned and then extend your membership expiry date by 1 month.

. If you have received a letter from us to renew your membership in April then please ignore the letter and we will be in touch again when your renewal is due.

If you do have any other specific questions then please email membership@chesterzoo.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

What if I have tickets booked for admission to the zoo?

We are more than happy to exchange your admission ticket for an open dated ticket that will remain valid until the end of the year. There will be no additional charge for this ticket upgrade and you don’t need to contact us to make this change, we will do this automatically for you. We are really looking forward to welcoming you back when things get back to normal.

If you have any other specific questions about your admission tickets then please email guest.services@chesterzoo.org with your name and your order number and the team will respond to you as soon as they possibly can.

If you have an open dated ticket, gift voucher or gift ticket booked at the moment we will extend these to the end of the year.

What if I have booked an event at the zoo?

We have made the decision to cancel all public events, animal encounters and keeper for a day experiences up until the end of May. We will continue to review future events and encounters beyond May and will notify anyone with a booking should the zoo remain closed.

Our team has been in touch with those who had booked an event between now and the end of May to notify them that their event has been postponed. We’ll be regularly reviewing the latest Government advice and, we will be in touch with you directly about your event if the zoo closure is extended and we decide to cancel. We hope to be able to offer you a date to rebook in the future when things get back to normal.

If you are interested in booking an event or wedding for later this year or next year, then please contact the events team on events@chesterzoo.org and we’ll be happy to help you to start to plan.

What can I do to support the zoo during this time?

We are always so overwhelmed by the incredible goodwill of our members and supporters. If you would like to help us during this time, then you can, here’s how:

Join our family and become members, adopt your favourite animal, get open dated tickets for a visit in the future, or make a donation towards our fight to prevent extinction.

It might take longer than usual to get your membership or adoption pack to you so please allow at least 10 – 14 days for delivery.

We realise these are difficult times for everybody, and our efforts to prevent extinction must not stop. We promise to use your money wisely to help us in our mission to prevent extinction.

What will happen to my animal adoption if the zoo is closed?

We thank you so much for your adoption and can’t tell you how much it helps us as a conservation and education charity. We can reassure you that whilst the zoo is closed the animal that you have adopted will enjoy the exact same levels of care and attention they receive all year round.

We will extend your adoption by an additional one month because we are closed. You don’t need to contact us to receive this additional month for your adoption as we’ll change your end date automatically. If we are asked to remain closed for more than a month then we’ll review this again and will be in touch

In the meantime, you may receive a renewal letter from us if your adoption expires in April. Please ignore it and we’ll be in touch again when your renewal is due.  If your admission tickets expire in March or April and you haven’t yet visited please contact membership@chesterzoo.org

I have an animal encounter or Keeper for a Day experience booked at Chester Zoo, what happens to my booking?

While the zoo remains closed, all encounters or experience days have been cancelled until the end of May.

You will be receiving confirmation of this cancellation and we will be processing refunds automatically.

Any encounters booked beyond May will be reviewed in the coming weeks as the ever-changing coronavirus situation unfolds and we will update you again when we have more information.

We hope to be able to offer encounters and experiences again in the future. 

I want to speak to someone at the zoo but I can’t get through to anyone on the phone?

It’s an extremely busy time for us at the moment and we understand the frustration that you might feel if you are waiting on the end of the phone trying to get through to someone.  For this reason we would ask you to send any queries that you have by email to guest.services@chesterzoo.org.  We guarantee that we will have a member of the team responding to those queries everyday so someone will get back to you as soon as they possibly can.

I booked a ticket through my hotel or ticket agent what should I do?

If you have booked a ticket through an agent and were due to visit during our closure period then please contact the agent that you booked with to discuss your options.

Who can I contact if I have a question about a school visit?

Schools that have an educational visit booked before the end of April have been contacted directly with further information. If you have a question about a new educational visit or an existing booking for an educational visit taking place after the end of April please contact us by emailing learning@chesterzoo.org. Please bear with us as we may take a little longer to get back to you during this time.