Britain's Theme Parks May Return on July 4

June 23, 2020, 11:30 AM · Theme parks in the United Kingdom may reopen on July 4, the government said today. That clears the way for the return of Legoland Windsor, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and other parks and attractions.

Hotels, museums, pubs, and restaurants also may reopen under today's announcement, which replaces the UK's two-meter physical distancing rule with a "one-meter plus" rule. That means people from different household can get as close as one meter so long as they are wearing masks or behind a screen.

The UK's theme parks wasted no time in announcing their return after the government cleared their way.

Expect temperature checks and reduced capacity on rides, at shows, and in shops and eating areas. Masks may be required on certain attractions. Some attractions where physical distancing is impossible - such as the Lego City Deep Sea Adventure at Legoland - will be closed. But parks are announcing that the majority of their attractions will be available when the parks reopen.

The return of Britain's theme parks follows the reopening of major parks in Germany, The Netherlands and Italy, as well as the announcement of the return of parks in France, Spain, and Denmark. However, Sweden has confirmed that it will not allow parks there to reopen this summer, as a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people will continue.

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For discounted tickets to theme parks and other attractions throughout the United Kingdom, please visit our international travel partner's Things to Do in the United Kingdom page.

Replies (9)

June 23, 2020 at 12:10 PM

This is causing a stir in the UK. As some may know, Johnson famously brushed off concerns over a pandemic to the point he actually shook hands with patients in a hospital and even when numbers rising was "business as usual." That led to the UK overwhelmed and lockdown to the point even McDonalds' were closed. And, of course, Johnson himself nearly dying of the virus.

Now, Johnson may want to hold back but is being pushed because he's run on a base of people who insist virus is no big deal so can't back down from that. There's also how he wants a strong economy to justify Brexit and so get things reopened. Another sign of how bad politics just make a messy situation even worse.

June 23, 2020 at 1:48 PM

Mike, I work at Hinkley Point C nuclear construction site, the largest construction project in Europe. I am amongst 3000+ people, currently down from March's 5000+, every day. There are no cases to report in the last 8 weeks and only 5 cases in total, zero deaths. People need to put things into perspective. 80% of all deaths are 60+, 70+% are 75 and over. The media only report the headline figure not the detail or trends underneath. These tell a completely different story.

As for the 4th of July, Pan-Atlantic celebrations as the pubs in England are opening up. I'll drink to that!

June 23, 2020 at 2:21 PM

@Robert - just a heads up, the UK government only speaks for those parks in England.... which is probably the ones visitors here want to visit anyway (I can’t see anyone from outside Scotland Sclepping out to a Motherwell to go to M&D’s...)

Lockdown lifting in Scotland, Wales and NI is at different rates, and 2m remains the advice here.

June 23, 2020 at 3:25 PM

ProfPlum, I don't understand your the point you are trying to make. Do you mention the ages of those dying since they aren't likely to go to theme parks or because it's ok for them to die since they're old (I've heard that opinion before and I find it repugnant, so I'll assume it isn't your point).

The issue isn't that elderly people will go to parks, get sick and die. The issue is that the more things open up the increased rate of does in the community. The larger the disease burden in the community the higher the spread will be to vulnerable people and the increased deaths as a result.

The UK's numbers do look ok, to the point where reopening things could be entertained. This process does need to be slow and careful though with numbers monitored and any new cases traced. You need to be prepared to close things up again if numbers go up.

Opening things up isn't necessarily the solution for a healthy economy. The resultant increase in disease prevalence will ruin the economy just as much as the closure required to manage it. Sweden's economy isn't doing any better than their neighbors.

As for 4th of July celebrations, I personally think that drunk people in pubs is a surefire route to a second wave.

June 23, 2020 at 5:16 PM

Grant, calm down! The true, detailed facts in the UK tell us that people under 50 with no underlying medical conditions have a 0.0X% risk of dying when confirmed cases are factored in for that age group, people over 75 have a very high rate. Therefore, the lockdown, in whatever guise it takes, should continue to shield those most at risk, which is NOT the majority of the working population. The UK cannot continue to treat everybody the same when there is huge disparity in demographics when the detail is known. I fully support the easing of the lockdown and the opening up of society for most, but not all, of the population. If that makes me "repugnant", c'est la vie! Not everybody is subject to the same level of risk, the sooner people realise it, the better. Sensationalised and distorted media headline figures have caused widespread panic and fear unnecessarily.

Based on your assumption, the construction project I am on with 3000-5000 people every day should be a hotbed for cases and deaths so please re-read my figures. These are FACTS! I have thermal imaging in and out of the site, social distancing is applied rigorously on the transport in and out, in offices, canteens and the work areas on site. So there you have a densely populated place of several thousand, every day where no cases are being reported even though every person is monitored before they enter site. Believe the rubbish you are being fed by the media. I use real life examples and experience as foundation to my rationale.

Do I think relaxing lockdown will increase cases? Yes! But if the vulnerable are still shielded then the death rate will not increase. Ultimately, people have a choice. Nobody is forcing them to go out but the wheels of the UK economy have to start turning again otherwise we will be bankrupt and society will collapse with several million unemployed.

Food for thought. The winter of 2014/15, over 28,000 in the UK died of normal winter flu. Not a single word in any news item was reported. We need to put everything into perspective.

June 23, 2020 at 6:02 PM

>>Therefore, the lockdown, in whatever guise it takes, should continue to shield those most at risk...Yes! But if the vulnerable are still shielded then the death rate will not increase.

Shame the government is cutting SSP from those shielding.

June 23, 2020 at 6:24 PM

21st March to 1st August is pretty damn benevolent to me. They didn't have to pay it. The Government isn't a perpetual charity, Chad.

Everybody's circumstances are different and those at greater risk, who are unable to work from home, are entitled that their employer implement sufficient social distancing measures and protection in the workplace.

The opening up of lockdown will continue to be progressive including theme parks.

June 23, 2020 at 7:35 PM

Guess the other part of the story is what else is going on. A UK particularity seems to be ongoing mask denialism. A packed underground with no one wearing masks on top sort of puts regional theme parks in the why even bother category.

Another perspective is that there are degrees of madness and since we got Florida as a negative benchmark, pretty much anyone else on a hurry to open theme parks looks sane now. Yes that does include even California, since the reproduction rate there is much better despite the high case numbers.

June 24, 2020 at 3:37 AM

>> 21st March to 1st August is pretty damn benevolent to me. They didn't have to pay it. The Government isn't a perpetual charity, Chad.

I’m sorry, no, you don’t get this both ways. You can’t be both saying that those who can be should be and then be unconcerned that it’s no longer practical to do so.

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