Covid-19: Alton Towers and Pleasure Beach close

Infusion rollercoaster, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach have become the latest theme parks to announce their closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Alton Towers said it will remain closed “until further notice”, with its season having been due to begin this Saturday.

Both parks said they were planing on opening as scheduled as recently as this afternoon.

Legoland Windsor has also announced that it will close at the end of business on Friday.

RideRater understands that Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures will make similar announcements imminently.

Annual pass extensions

Merlin Entertainments, which operates all of he parks above excluding Blackpool Pleasure Beach, will extend the expiry date of its annual passes while its parks are closed.

Merlin Annual Pass and Monthly Membership
The clock will be stopped on the expiry dates of Merlin Annual Passes

Those holding the monthly direct debit Merlin Membership will not have their payments taken during the closures.

In a press conference this afternoon, the British prime minister Boris Johnson said there was an expectation for the coronavirus outbreak to peak in around 12 weeks time.

Shares in theme park operators in the United States have seen falls of more than two thirds in the past month.