Scotland’s museums prepare to reopen to visitors

Scotland’s museums and galleries have “warmly welcomed” the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will move to the third phase of lockdown easing.

The National Museum on Edinburgh's Chambers Street has been closed since the lockdown started in March. Photo: Scott Louden
The National Museum on Edinburgh's Chambers Street has been closed since the lockdown started in March. Photo: Scott Louden

The move will enable museums and galleries across the country to reopen their doors to vistors.

A collective statement said: “While we are collaborating as a sector to support and share knowledge of how to best welcome back visitors, we will be reopening at varying times starting this summer and will make our individual announcements as soon as we are each able to do so.

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“Reopening involves individual logistical challenges which we are approaching with a focus on protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees whilst ensuring a quality visitor experience.

“We are all becoming more familiar with physical distancing and additional hygiene measures in our public spaces, and museums and galleries are similarly preparing in line with Government guidelines.

“Training will enable our dedicated teams to continue to provide excellent customer support before and during visits. We support the introduction of the UK-wide ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification in reassuring all our visitors, staff and volunteers that they can be confident of their safety.”

The statement added: “We know that our visitors are eager to visit as soon as possible so we will be encouraging them to check our opening details online before they visit.

“In many cases, temporary ticketing systems will allow the booking of timed slots to enjoy our sites and our collections. Some museums and galleries may operate on different days or times and some may open partially so checking in advance will help visitors to prepare for any temporary experiential changes.

“Some museums and galleries, including those operating seasonally or reliant on the support of volunteers, may delay reopening until they are financially and operationally able to do so. We will continue to connect digitally with our communities.

“Scotland’s museums and galleries and the collections they care for and display play a vital economic, educational and placemaking role in our rural and urban communities.

“The pandemic has been challenging for all, and collectively, we would like to express our gratitude to the public for their ongoing engagement and support. We look forward to doing all we can to support Scotland’s recovery as soon as is safely possible, through spaces and collections that bring us together, comfort, educate, spark conversations and inspire creativity.”

The museums involved include Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Scotland, The National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Life,

V&A Dundee, and Industrial Museums Scotland.