The ape rescue centre, Monkey World in Wool, Dorset has temporarily closed despite being allowed to remain open in tier three, to stop people from tier four Covid restrictions trying to visit.
The rescue centre is allowed to keep its outside areas open to the public under the current rules but visitors have needed to book in advance to ensure that it does not get crowded.
However, although people under tier four restrictions are not allowed to travel except for essential reasons like work, education or medical appointments, Monkey World has reported that some are ignoring this and are being abusive to staff when being told that their booking cannot be accepted.
“We have a duty to protect our vulnerable, rescued monkeys and apes as well as the staff”
On its website it posted this message:
“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, however we have a duty to protect our vulnerable, rescued monkeys and apes as well as the staff who work at the park.
“It has been disappointing to find that the large majority of those who have booked to visit the park within the next week or so are currently under tier four restrictions, and whilst we appreciate that some who have booked to visit have only just been placed in tier four, this unfortunately has not been the case for the large majority who, despite being in tier four since the 19th December have chosen to ignore the guidelines in place, book and attempt to visit anyway.
“Sadly the abuse that many of our staff have had to endure when contacting those who have booked from tier four areas has reached a level that we consider to be unacceptable and this has contributed to the decision made.”