ARGUS readers can win tickets to be the first back on Brighton Palace Pier when it reopens on Saturday.

Today sees the launch of an Argus competition that will give five families the chance to pass through the gates 15 minutes before everyone else.

They will be given a family ride free wristband, gold-leaf ice creams, and slushies. One winner will be chosen each day this week.

This comes as the Palace Pier outlines the safety measures it is putting in place ahead of the July 4 reopening. The pier will reduce capacity. Staff will have daily temperature checks, and visitors could also have their temperature taken as a condition of entry.

There will be safety notices and markers to promote social distancing in queues, on rides, and in the arcades. Seats could be left empty between people on the rides.

The pier said staff will regularly disinfect commonly-touched areas, and deep clean if someone has symptoms of the virus.

There will be hand sanitiser dispensers and staff will wear PPE including face masks, disposable gloves and eye protection.

Eating areas have been adapted to allow for social distancing. Tables and chairs have been spaced out, and numbers will be capped at the Palm Court Restaurant.

The pier’s operations manager Remy Hardecoeur said: “We’re excited to welcome people back. There’s space for everybody on the pier, especially with the limitations on numbers.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all my colleagues back, too. I’ve been here for days by myself, and it’s been really odd. I’ve missed having people on the pier.

“It’s such a fun place. Kids and families just smile and laugh when they’re here. It’s a part of Brighton.”

In a statement, the owners of the pier said: “At Brighton Palace Pier our mission is to create truly memorable experiences and we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our guests and employees.

“We have introduced a range of new health and safety measures that will seek to reduce the risk associated with the presence of Covid-19 that are in line with government advice and the requirements of local health authorities.

“Some of the measures may be clearly visible to you from the moment you arrive at Brighton Palace Pier and others require consideration from guests to help ensure everyone has a safe visit.”

The competition ends at midday on Friday. For terms and conditions and to enter, visit and answer this qualifying question: When is Brighton Palace Pier set to re-open?