English theme parks cleared to reopen on 4 July

Rita rollercoaster, Alton Towers

Theme parks in England will be permitted to open from 4 July, the UK government has confirmed.

The announcement comes alongside a reduction in the mandatory COVID-19 social distancing from two metres to one metre.

The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet announced reopening dates for theme parks and fairgrounds.

Theme parks and their hotel’s facilities such as spas, indoor soft play areas, bowling alleys, water parks, indoor gyms and swimming pools cannot yet reopen.

The hotels themselves, plus caravan parks and campsites, can also reopen from 4 July under the easing of restrictions in place due to to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bars and restaurants may also reopen on a table service-only system, whether indoors or outdoors.

Park announcements

Merlin Entertainments – which operates Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor – had already indicated that it was planning to reopen its parks on 4 July.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach had also indicated its intention to reopen on the same date, before the go-ahead was confirmed by the UK government today.

The Lancashire amusement park recently announced that it was extending its season into mid-December.

Adventure Island, Drayton Manor, Fantasy Island and Paultons Park subsequently confirmed that they would also reopen on 4 July.

Flamingo Land and Lightwater Valley have not yet confirmed their reopening plans, although the former’s zoo is already open to the public.

Oakwood is awaiting guidance from the devolved government in Wales.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has announced that its scare attraction Pasaje del Terror will reopen with the rest of the park, but Alton Towers said its Dungeon attraction will remain closed at this time.