We are very much looking forward to welcoming back our volunteer team and visitors to the museum. Our re-opening date is not yet fixed but will be in August or September. Below are some principles and operational factors that we are taking into account when planning for the re-opening.
Principles for re-opening:
Our plans follow guidance issued by National Museum Directors Group
- It is a positive for the museum to plan re-open access for staff, volunteers and communities when legally permitted
- Security of workers, public and sites must be sufficiently maintained in light of any operational changes to account for COVID-19
- Staff and Volunteer safety and wellbeing must be supported
- Public safety must be assured
- Processes need to be adapted and introduced to support reopening
- The business case supports reopening
- The museum is confident that visitors will return, and we can provide services in keeping with our charitable status
Operational factors for re-opening:
- The possible ongoing fluctuations in staffing levels as a result of shielding, isolating, re-deployment and caring responsibilities
- The specific layout of buildings and pinch points for anyone (staff, volunteers, users, contractors) needing on-site access
- The availability and acceptability of using scarce resources (eg PPE, sanitiser, Perspex) if these are needed more urgently by public health bodies
- starting small and expanding our offer over time – we have started with the small staff team and are welcoming back small numbers of volunteers, and similarly when we open to the public the lowest numbers of visitors
- staff roles will change even welcoming small numbers of the public and we are thinking about how much budget will be required for additional cleaning e.g. staff time to clean and increased cleaning products
- focus on separating people with minimal use of PPE required
- knowing the maximum of numbers of staff and visitors in all our spaces and setting up booking system
- keeping in mind that behaviours are changing with people getting used to social distancing – we will use signs to support and reinforce this behaviour
- aware that cleaning will need to take place regularly – in between each visiting slot, for example.
- investment required for Perspex screens or ‘sneeze guards’ with bunting to act as barrier at the front desks. We may also use other barriers such as low tables to ensure distancing takes place
- implementing a one-way systems with clear directional signage, one-way stairs and the lift only for those who need to use it
- test runs of the one way system, use of spaces and systems when they are up and running.