Theme parks could reopen on 12 April

Colossus, Thorpe Park

The UK government has announced that outdoor attractions including theme parks in England could re-open as soon as 12 April.

The provisional date has been announced on a “not before” basis, as the government today outlined plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Earlier this week, Merlin Entertainments said through spokespeople that it believe theme parks and attractions should be treated the same as “non-essential shops”.

This call has effectively been met by what was announced by the UK government today, as the 12 April “earliest date” also includes shops and hairdressers.

The date could be pushed back in the event of a surge in hospitalisations, which is seen as unlikely given the rapidly-expanding vaccination programme and associated falling cases of the disease.

‘Good to Go’

A statement released by Blackpool Pleasure Beach this afternoon read: “In-line with government guidelines, we plan to re-open COVID secure and ‘Good To Go’ on Monday 12 April.

“We look forward to welcoming you back to share in our 125th year.”

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be easing COVID-19 restrictions at rates determined by their devolved administrations.

The UK-wide furlough scheme, which pays up to 80% of workers’ wages has been widely accessed by the British theme park industry during its enforced closures during the three national lockdowns.

The furlough scheme is currently scheduled to expire at the end of April.