To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he is having with zoos and aquariums in relation to providing information which would give those organisation sufficient preparation time to allow them to open up their attractions to the public later in 2021.
I am aware of the pressure that the current coronavirus restrictions are placing on zoos and recognise this has been an extremely tough time for the sector. The Government has not yet announced how and when the current coronavirus restrictions applying to zoos and aquaria will be eased. In preparation for an announcement, we have worked closely with BIAZA (British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums) on their reopening guidance to ensure that zoos and aquariums have the information on how to open safely. Defra officials have also met with the CEOs of the largest chartable zoos and BIAZA to understand the measures that zoos have put in place to manage social distancing. We are also aware that a number of zoos and aquariums have secured the Visit Britain 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark. This mark provides reassurance that the business adheres to Government and public health guidance and that the necessary COVID-19 safety processes have been put in place.