Theme parks are open again, but what's different?

Last updated at 05:38
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The lockdown rules in England are being eased from this weekend with theme parks welcoming guests for the first time since March.

Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Drayton Manor Park and Legoland are among those that have confirmed they will be reopening from Saturday 4 July.

But with new social-distancing required, how will it all work at attractions known for their busy crowds and long queues?

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An employee performs a temperature check at the entrance to Legoland in Florida
Arriving at a theme park

Theme Parks are asking adults to pre-book tickets online before they visit to make sure parks don't become too crowded.

Once you get to a theme park, before you're allowed entry, you may receive a temperature check with a non-touch thermometer.

Basically it scans your head and tells you how hot you are, if your temperature is too high, you'll be told to go home.

In a statement Thorpe Park said:

"The health and safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority and to keep everyone safe, we'll be introducing a number of additional hygiene and safety measures which you'll see in place when the Resort reopens."

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What will happen inside the park

If everything is fine there will be plenty of signs to encourage social-distancing once you're inside. These will be similar to the signs you've seen if you've visited a supermarket over the last few months.

Most things will be open, where distancing between families is safe and can be maintained.

But for example the Dungeon at Alton Towers will remain closed, as will the new Gangsta Granny ride.

A spokesperson for Alton Towers said: "From 4th July, the theme park will reopen, including the majority of our rides and outdoor attractions, although some indoor facilities must remain closed for now.

"We will reopen with significantly reduced numbers and a range of hygiene and safety measures to protect you and our employees."

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Face Masks

The rules on face masks vary depending on which theme park you visit.

For example Drayton Manor park in Staffordshire say that "Guests can wear face masks across the park if they wish. Face masks will only be required within the Tamarin Trail to protect our animals."

While at other parks you might not have to wear a face mask all the time while you're visiting, take one with you, as you may have to wear one at certain times or on certain rides.

However, children who have disabilities or health conditions that make wearing a mask difficult, don't have to put one on.

Eating at theme parks

Almost all the restaurants at theme parks are open for food again but now there will be additional spaces between tables and the option to take food away, as a 'grab and go' option rather than sitting in.

Outdoor food stalls, are now fitted with hygiene screens, don't be surprised if you see people working at the parks wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and adults can only use contactless card payments only.

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Just like this theme park in China, visitors to attractions in England will be asked to keep their distance while in line
Queuing for rides

Queues at theme parks are usually really, really long. But now the length of the line will be determined by the social distancing rules, rather thank large visitor numbers.

Many lines will now have markings to keep families a safe distance apart, while some theme parks have introduced a digital queuing system where you're allocated a time to return to the ride to go on it.

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