Theme park staff have been coughed and spat at for enforcing social distancing rules to stop the spread of coronavirus, according to one park boss.
Ross Snipp, an executive at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, said some visitors became aggressive towards staff for doing their job and reminding them about the rules.
The theme park, which reopened in July, enforces a two-metre social distancing rule despite Government guidance requiring a minimum of one metre.
Mr Snipp told Teesside Live staff followed advice to ‘remind and encourage’ guests about the rules.
However, while the majority followed the rules, he said some visitors reacted angrily – spitting and coughing at staff for telling them to stand two metres apart in queues.
He said: ‘Our staff have had verbal and physical abuse, they have been spat at and coughed at.
‘But I know our staff aren’t alone in dealing with this, and it’s a minority – less than 1%.’
Mr Snipp explained that the theme park enforced a two-metre rule because visitors generally felt ‘uncomfortable’ standing only one metre apart.
He said: ‘We could reduce it to one metre – but at the moment standing a metre away from a stranger feels very unnatural and uncomfortable.
‘People aren’t ready for that change.’
Mr Snipp added there was still ‘confusion’ among guests about what the rules were.
‘A tiny percentage are not aware of the rules, or not necessarily following them,’ he said.
Flamingo Land reopened on July 4 with social distancing markings and hand washing stations in place.
Other theme parks, such as Thorpe Park, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures and Alton Towers, reopened with guests receiving temperature checks at the door.
Visitors at those theme parks were asked to bring face masks and they are mandatory on some rides.
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