ALTON TOWERS has announced the new guidelines which will be in place when guests return to the theme park.

The park remains closed until at least July 3, having been unable to open this season due to coronavirus.

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The guidelines have been announced by Merlin Entertainments, who also own Thorpe Park and Legoland.

New measures will be introduced to allow visitors to continue social distancing and stay safe, which have been explained by Health, Safety & Security Director, Jonathan Ellis.

Access to the park will be limited when it first opens with restricted capacity per day to reduce the number of people on the rides and at restaurants.

Mr Ellis explained: "In order to stick to these limits, we are considering a system of online booking, similar to our Fireworks events, in which we would ask all guests to book their trips in advance to guarantee entry."

However, how this will work has not yet been revealed.

Other new measures include:

  • Temperature checks will also be conducted at the gates, on both staff and guests – anyone who has a temperature which is too high will be turned away (but the park will allow you to rebook your trip for another day).
  • Spatial markers are being installed at queue lines and communal areas, while one-way system will be enforced at shops.
  • Riders will only be able to go on rollercoasters and rides within their groups, with a row between each family – which could result in longer queues but emptier rides.
  • Additional hygiene stations will be built across the park, and staff will be given additional Covid-19 training.
  • Face masks won't be mandatory as current guidance is "only advising face masks for indoor spaces".

Mr Ellis added that the new measures will most likely be long term.

He said: "Once it is safe to reopen, we ask you to please support us in the simple steps of respecting each other when you visit; in terms of giving each other sufficient space, in keeping the resort clean and most of all in washing your hands. 

"We see these not as short-term measures, but as the ‘new normal’ way that we will operate until such time as the health risks of COVID-19 are fully addressed."

Anyone with breaks booked up to July 3 will be able to move their booking to a later date.

No official date has been given as to when Alton Towers will be able to reopen, although the UK government has advised the hospitality industry can begin to resume by July.

Theme parks in Europe have reopened this month, including Europa-Park in Germany and Efteling in the Netherlands.

Universal Orlando is opening next week, with temperature checks, mandatory face masks and reduced daily capacity.

Disney World, which hopes to reopen by July 11, plan to enact "high-energy squads" of employees who will roam the parks checking to make sure people are wearing masks.

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