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Hunstanton Sea Life Centre's plea to re-open when lockdown eases

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Bosses of Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary have called on the Government to let attractions like theirs open at the same time as non-essential retailers.

The plea comes ahead of a much-anticipated statement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, next week, on easing the current lockdown.

Some reports this week have suggested that entertainment and sporting venues won’t be allowed to re-open until at least late April.

Sea Life Centre Hunstanton's new penguin chick called 'Squirt'. Picture: SUBMITTED. (37920979)
Sea Life Centre Hunstanton's new penguin chick called 'Squirt'. Picture: SUBMITTED. (37920979)

But Sea Life bosses say they should be treated in the same way as non-essential shops which, like them, are currently closed.

Nigel Croasdale, the centre’s general manager, said: “We are fully behind the national effort to overcome Covid.

“As the Government begins the review of lockdown and looks to reopen the economy we are calling for indoor entertainment attractions like Sea Life to be treated the same as non-essential retail - and when they are allowed to reopen we should be able to open as well.

“Our attractions can help promote healthier, happier and more connected communities, whilst addressing many of the most pressing health, social and environmental challenges we will face following the pandemic.

“We know it will be an invaluable benefit to these communities for us to reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: “Sea Life Hunstanton is an important part of our tourism and hospitality sector.

“Last month in Parliament I supported extending the five per cent VAT cut and business rates holiday and I’ve spoken to the Chancellor to make the case ahead of the Budget to support local firms and the recovery.

“When I visited last summer I was impressed by the Covid secure measures they have put in place and I look forward to the reopening roadmap providing certainty for attractions and firms.”

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