Museums, galleries, heritage attractions and historic buildings have been given guidance on how begin to reopen to the public.
Guidance for the heritage sector has been published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in collaboration with Historic England and guidance for museums has been published by the National Museum Directors’ Council with DCMS support. Both will outline the processes and facilities that businesses and organisations must put in place before reopening so that staff and visitors can be kept safe.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our museums, galleries and heritage attractions are world-class and this guidance will help get these sectors back up and running. It will not only pave the way for beloved institutions to welcome back visitors but also support important preservation to protect our historic buildings and ancient artefacts. The reopening of these sectors will help to boost local economies all over the country and ensure our national heritage is safe and open for all.”
The guidance is specifically for heritage attractions, those running businesses from historic and listed buildings, and those working to conserve and protect heritage assets.
The sector-specific guidance for museums and galleries enhances existing guidance, including advice for working in labs and research facilities, reopening gift shops and cafes and managing visitors.
Providing the conditions of the guidance are met, the wider sector is currently expected to open from 4 July 2020.
The guidance states that the following measures should be considered to allow for safe reopening:
At heritage sites:
All sites will be instructed to produce risk assessments and review their cleaning regimes, however deep cleaning and social distancing systems, including floor markings are all required to be completed in a way that does not damage the historic fabric of the buildings.
National Museum Directors Council Chair Sir Ian Blatchford said: “All museums are keen to resume their vital role at the heart of communities but, as our guidelines recognise, the timing of re-opening will depend on local context, conversations with partners and a careful assessment of each museum’s ability to open its doors in a safe and financially sustainable manner.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said: “This guidance aims to help businesses in the heritage sector get back up and running in a way that is safe for workers, volunteers and visitors. As is the case for many others, the heritage sector and people’s livelihoods have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope that this guidance will help businesses in the heritage sector find new ways of working during these difficult times."
The guidance will be for organisations in England. Organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should adhere to the advice of the devolved administrations.
The National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) guidance on reopening museums can be found by clicking here
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