Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday issued permission to reopen zoos and deer parks with COVID-19 restrictions from October 4.
For large zoo, the number of visitors has been capped at 1500 per day whereas for small zoo, 750 visitors are permitted. For mini zoo/deer parks, 300 visitors are allowed per day. Besides, e-ticket booking will be given priority over manual booking.
While State Botanical Garden will also be opened for the visitors, picnic inside the campus is not allowed.
In a letter, the PCCF (wildlife) asked zoos to ensure the following measures for safety of visitors, employees and animals and display “Do’s and Don’ts” prominently at the zoo entrance and other strategic places.
Before Reopening of Zoo
- Spaces shall be clearly marked on the ground to indicate safe distance where queues might form – entry gate, bathroom access, indoor/walk through exhibits areas in the zoo.
- The persons deployed by agencies/contractors/feed suppliers working in the zoo should follow all the COVID guidelines. They shall be screened at the entry gate with thermal scanner.
- Zoos may explore option for sale of face mask at souvenir shop/special counter. Visitors should avoid disposing mask inside ZOO premises.
- Zoo management would take disinfection measures and additional cleaning of all facilities, especially elements that are touched frequently (like hand rails). Provisions of hand sanitizer and/or hand wash would be given at multiple strategic places by zoo authorities.
- e-ticket booking should be given priority over manual ticket booking for contact less transaction.
- Limiting the maximum number of visitors’ entry per day will be reviewed periodically.
- Entry in to zoo shall not be allowed without mask. Mask should be put by the visitors continuously from entry till exit.
- The visitors allowed for entry into the zoo should not have cough, cold or fever. They should undergo body temperature scanning and any other such test insisted at entry gate.
- Persons with symptoms of cough, cold and fever shall not be allowed to enter inside the zoo even if they hold a valid entry ticket.
- Senior citizens and persons with infants shall be advised not to visit zoo.
- For everyone’s health, all adults and children of seven years of age and older must have a mask or facial covering that covers the nose and mouth to enter the zoo.
- All visitors should pass through the medicated foot mat/whole body sanitizer/any such installations fixed at the zoo entrance. They should avoid carrying luggage, which needs a locker/cloak room facility.
- The security personnel and the zoo staff engaged at entry gate and other areas inside the zoo premises should guide the visitors to avoid congregation and advise them to use hand wash/ sanitizer provided at different utility areas.
- Visitors should maintain social distance on the zoo premises and avoid touching barricades and other surfaces. They should move along the designated visitor path only.
- Visitors should neither spit nor chew tobacco and other prohibited products. Smoking inside zoo premises is also prohibited.
- Interaction between visitor and zoo staff should be minimal with social distance norms. The staff frequently interacting with visitors e.g. staff at entry gate, ticket counter and toilet will wear face shield, gloves and mask.
- Canteen & cafeteria staff should follow social distancing norms. They are advised to serve food in disposable containers instead of utensils.
- The zoo guides have to follow all safely guidelines and must wear mask and face shield and hand gloves while taking the visitors on ZOO tour.
- The middle scat of the benches should be marked with a red cross mark. The zoo staff has to ensure that only two persons use such benches at a time and maintain social distancing.
- Visitors are encouraged to carry their own drinking water and avoid bringing eatables with them to zoo.
- All the indoor exhibits like Zoo Aquarium, Walk-Through Aviary, Nocturnal House and Zoo Library should be regulated for visitors.