Chester Zoo will reopen on Monday June 15 after the government decided to let zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas open from next week.

The move comes following last week's announcement that the very existence of the zoo was under threat due to its continued enforced closure. 

A statement on the zoo's website tonight said: "You did it! A week ago we were in despair, not knowing when we would reopen, or if we could even survive much longer, but your voices have been heard!

"We have just received the news that we’ll be able to open safely from June 15. 

"Your support has been incredible. Every kind donation, every word of support. It really is making a huge difference.

"The fight isn’t over for us just yet. But, for now, we wanted to celebrate this huge moment of relief with you.

"There’s no denying that we have suffered severe financial damage over the past three months and the road to recovery will be long and uncertain. But, your incredibly kind donations, animal adoptions and memberships have given us a vital lifeline.

"Over the next few days we’ll be letting you know when and how you’ll be able to book a ticket to visit. Please bear with us while we do this.

"From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. You are saving our zoo."