Sharon Hatton

Hope for Scotland's Zoos and Aquariums

Posted: 18th June, 2020

After many months of lobbying, today the First Minister has offered a glimmer of hope to our Scottish members. BIAZA has been making the case for reopening and financial support for the sector in Scotland. As such, we are pleased the First Minister has acknowledged a way forward for zoos in Scotland.  

The Scottish Government has updated their COVID-19 response strategy, its route-map, to cautiously ease some restrictions. In the new guidance, zoos and garden attractions can now open for local access (broadly within five miles) from 29th June. In her statement the First Minister said that ticketed attractions should sell their tickets online in advance of visits.  

BIAZA knows this will not be a tenable solution for many collections in Scotland, however we hope it is a positive start. In the short term BIAZA will be seeking clarity from Scottish Government on the guidance for aquariums as this has not been explicit. And in the long term, members can further enhance our case for support with Scottish Government by demonstrating their robust COVID-19 security measures. 

This announcement follows similar guidance in England, issued earlier this month and further clarity on the situation in Northern Ireland. This leaves Wales as the only British nation left to give zoo licence holders a clear date for reopening. This is something BIAZA is eager to change.  

There is a long road ahead. BIAZA is committed to winning long-term financial support for zoos and aquariums across all five nations.  

BIAZA has worked on extensive guidance and resources to help our members reopen. Please do not hesitate to contact the BIAZA Office if you would like to discuss anything in further detail.