Whilst our Open Days are still postponed, we are delighted to announce that as of Saturday 4th July, the Big Cat Sanctuary will be reopening its gates and welcoming our Lodge and Experience guests back on-site, along with some of our Adopters and Members.
What to expect when you visit – you can see all the details about how we are you ready for you visit on this VIDEO
We must, primarily, consider the health and well-being of our staff, visitors and animals before any decision is taken to reopen, even with government relaxation of lockdown. To ensure the safety of our staff and visitors and to minimise risk, protective screening has been installed at indoor ‘contact’ points. These include the front reception desk and retail shop counter, as well as between table in our dining areas.
In conjunction, government guidelines on social distancing will be adhered to throughout the Sanctuary. Signage reminding both staff and visitors of social distancing, frequent handwashing and covering mouth if sneezing etc. will continue to be displayed.
Although it is not mandatory, we advise visitors to wear face masks while visiting BCS. This is only advisory but will help protect our staff, animals and other visitors.
Pinch points will be at the entrance/exit, in the Heritage Lodge restaurant, lounge and coffee area, toilets and the shop. Therefore, at these areas, signage will be utilised to encourage social distancing to allow safe spaces.
The gift shop has a separate entrance & exit, which is helpful when managing visitor flow through the site.
First aid services will be of course still provided at BCS. We will assume that all visitors potentially have Covid and could be asymptomatic and therefore staff attending to first aid incidents will wear face mask/face shields/protective apron. There will be a specific team of staff that will adhere to first aid support onsite each day.
General information on reopening The Big Cat Sanctuary
- Days open: 7 days a week
- The Big Cat Sanctuary will be operating as a card only payments site offering no cash payments anywhere or any cashback
- Office based staff will work some days from home if possible, to prevent large numbers in one building
- A one-way system will be in place around the Sanctuary
- Clear public signage regarding hand washing, face masks and social distancing visible and frequently displayed from the entrance onwards
Catering & Dining
- Acrylic screens have been installed between tables and tables are placed at suitable intervals to ensure social distancing
- Table service will continue, with staff wearing disposable gloves and facemasks
- Buffet Breakfast items have been removed and breakfast will be ordered in advance with all items being available via table service only
- Bar will operate but again drinks will be available via table service only
- The option is available for service to individual lodges if guests prefer, and the outside veranda is also available for use to prevent crowding
- Lodges will be thoroughly cleaned between guests using appropriate sanitising products
- Sheets and mattress protectors/pillow protectors will be replaced between each set of guests
- Soft furnishings (cushions and throws) have been removed to minimise likelihood of cross-contamination
- Cleaning and maintenance of Lodges will only be undertaken when vacant (i.e. no guests inside)
- The Gift Shop will both be open as per all non-essential shops
- Acrylic screens have been installed
- There are separate entrances and exits
- Team members in this area will sanitise the credit card machine after every non-contactless use
- The following toilet facilities will be available for use by the public: Toilets in Heritage Lodge and the block between Heritage and Founders Lodge
- Lodge guests are asked to return to their individual lodges to use the toilet
- Additional portaloos are being hired in for Adopters Days etc
Safety & PPE around site
- We have fixed hand sanitizer dispensing pumps for visitors placed throughout the site, as well as protable hand wash sinks
- The BCS Keeper team will be advised to wear face masks at all times due to their close contact with the animals and at times will be walking against the flow of visitors in the one-way system
- Staff members in other departments have the option to wear face masks if they wish but as we have acrylic screening in place in customer facing areas, this is not compulsory
- Social distancing between unrelated households to be maintained at all times
All of the above is subject to change due to government guidelines. However, we will keep our plans and procedures updated as and when further information becomes available.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Big Cat Sanctuary, but if you are unable to actually visit at the moment and would still like to support our amazing animals, please visit: thebigcatsanctuary.org/product/donate
Thank you and we hope to see you soon!