Zoo and Tierpark Berlin reopen with restrictions
After Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin were all temporarily closed on 17 March to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, from 28 April the Zoo and the Tierpark will open their gates once more – albeit with a number of restrictions. Aquarium Berlin will remain closed for the time being.
“Over the past few weeks we have been working intensively on a concept for how we might reopen, particularly to help Berlin families during this difficult time,” says Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “We have been in constant dialogue with the Senate of Berlin and the local boroughs. A controlled, responsible reopening will give Berliners the opportunity to enjoy our animals and beautiful parkland – something that is particularly valuable in these turbulent times. However, this will only work if everyone sticks to the clear rules regarding hygiene and conduct.”
The following restrictions and rules of conduct will apply:
- Zoo and Tierpark Berlin will be open, while Aquarium Berlin will remain closed until further notice.
- Anyone wishing to visit the Zoo or Tierpark must purchase a ticket in advance from our online shop (www.zoo-berlin.de and www.tierpark-berlin.de), which is expected to open on 27 April. When purchasing tickets, visitors must select a specific day and a specific time slot. The tickets will then only be valid during that time. Initially, discounted tickets will not be available, in order to prevent delays and queues at the entrances due to additional checks. It will also not yet be possible to take advantage of discounts such as those offered by the Berlin WelcomeCard. The onsite ticket offices will not be open.
- Holders of an annual pass must also book a time slot (free of charge) online before visiting. Admission will not be possible without a pre-booked slot. The annual pass sales desks will be open to issue and extend annual passes. However, if queues grow too large, the sales desks may be closed or temporarily unstaffed.
- In accordance with social distancing laws, visitors may only come to the Zoo or Tierpark with people from their own household. Wherever possible, visitors must maintain a distance of at least two metres from all other people. Visitors may only linger in a single spot for a short time (i.e. no picnics).
- Friedrichsfelde manor house and all the animal houses (including the Alfred Brehm building and the Panda Garden) and walk-through habitats will remain closed as a precautionary measure. This also applies to all playgrounds and the petting zoo.
- The panda cubs will not be on view.
- The commentated feeding sessions and free-flight show will not take place. The Tierpark train will not be running and there will be no handcart hire.
- Some cafés and snack points will be offering food and drink to take away.
- Guests are urged to refrain from touching any of the glass panels or other surfaces.
Zoo and Tierpark employees will be patrolling the parks in order to ensure adherence to these rules. In addition, a range of precautions have been taken to improve hygiene and make sure visitors keep their distance from one another.
A fixed number of tickets will be made available for each of the two daily time slots, which for the time being will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Initially, 2,000 tickets will be available for the Zoo, and 3,000 tickets for the Tierpark. Once that fixed number has been sold, no more tickets will be available for the respective time slot on the respective day. This will provide all visitors with plenty of space in which to move around, as the Tierpark has 185,000 m² of parkland accessible to visitors, and the Zoo 65,000 m². Signs throughout the Zoo and Tierpark will remind visitors of the rules of conduct, while floor markings will ensure they keep their distance when queueing, and certain areas – such as playgrounds – will be cordoned off. In addition, toilets have been equipped with clean4health hands-free door openers. These will allow Zoo and Tierpark visitors to open and close toilet doors using their elbow or forearm.
In the case of violations of the hygiene guidelines and rules of conduct, Zoo and Tierpark Berlin reserve the right to close the facilities entirely or to ban certain individuals.
Despite all the restrictions, most of the Zoo and Tierpark animals will be on view to visitors, who will be able to watch elephants, giraffes and many more fascinating animals enjoying the spring weather in their outdoor habitats. In the last few days, the meerkats and prairie dogs have come out of hibernation, and many of the animals – for example the Blacknose sheep, the hamadryas baboons, and various bird species – have welcomed young into the world.