COLCHESTER Zoo is welcoming visitors again after three months of being closed.

The Maldon Road venue, one of our biggest and best tourist attractions, reopened its doors after lockdown rules eased earlier this month.

In the fortnight since, it has proved extremely popular, with a restriction on the number of visitors per day to ensure social-distancing measures are complied with.

A statement on the zoo's website says: "Whilst we are doing all we can to enable visitors to have a safe and enjoyable visit, it is the responsibility of our visitors to ensure they follow the guidelines to ensure their safety and others around them.

"Together we can ensure the zoo remains a safe place to visit for everyone."

Extra tickets released for Colchester Zoo due to unbelievable demand

Popular attraction - Colchester Zoo in Maldon Road

Here are ten key rules, pointers and things to remember and follow when visiting the zoo:

* All visitors, including pass-holders, must buy/reserve their tickets in advance online. This is to aid the zoo in terms of managing capacity.

* Remember the zoo is unable to host visitors in groups of more than six in total, or from more than two households.

Colchester Zoo

The elephant enclosure at Colchester Zoo

* All visitors are asked to follow social-distancing rules and look out for the zoo's orange ‘high-traffic area’ signs. Be extra vigilant in these areas.

* Additional hand-sanitising stations are available throughout the zoo, which visitors are asked to use during their visit.

* Face coverings must be worn in all indoor buildings. This includes but is not limited to the zoo's entrance, gift shop, guest services, catering outlets, indoor viewing areas which are allowed to remain open and toilets.

Colchester Zoo

The Out of African experience at Colchester Zoo

* Dining tables are situated outside and placed apart to enable social distancing. Visitors are asked not to move tables for the health and safety of yourselves and others.

* Visitors are encouraged to use contactless payment whenever possible, with cash only used as a last resort.

* Remember that initially the zoo is open for outdoor visits only. Indoor areas which are not through ways will remain closed for the time being due to Government guidelines. It is hoped these can open at the next stage of the Government’s Roadmap.

Colchester Zoo

The penguins at Colchester Zoo

* Remember the zoo's indoor children’s play area remains closed until further notice. Face painting is also closed until further notice.

* You might want to come prepared with your own snacks. Food and dining options are limited, although the zoo is offering a takeaway service only for the time being. All food at the zoo is freshly prepared on site by staff in relevant PPE.