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Cultural venues start to re-open

Published: 15 Jul 2020

Blurred image of a modern art gallery

Visitor attractions such as museums, galleries and heritage sites across Scotland can start to re-open to visitors from today.

As part of Phase 3 of the routemap out of lockdown, cinemas, monuments and libraries can also now begin to re-open.

As venues start to welcome guests, they are expected to ensure strict physical distancing is in place and for many of these facilities advanced ticketing will be required.

The Scottish Government has published guidance which includes practical advice for venues on the steps they need to take before and after re-opening, such as:

  • establishing physical distancing, taking account of organisational capacity, queue management, signage and markings
  • enhanced hand hygiene measures and cleaning practice
  • advice on workforce planning, including training and equality issues
  • guidance for customers to ensure they know how to plan ahead and enjoy visits safely

The move out of lockdown for these venues comes on the same day as the wider re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sectors. Visitors can now stay in hotels while cafes, restaurants and bars can also begin accepting patrons indoors.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“We have made major progress in tackling coronavirus (COVID-19) and prevalence of the virus in Scotland continues to be lower than it is across the UK as a whole. It is because of this that we can continue to take these steps out of lockdown and start to safely welcome visitors back to our museums, galleries, and other attractions across the country.

“This is a positive step forward for cultural venues and visitor attractions, which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Our guidance, developed in partnership with employers, industry bodies and trades unions, provides the information these venues need to ensure the safety of staff and customers as they begin to re-open, and can give confidence to those who want to visit them.

“Museums and galleries play a crucial role in our communities and I’m sure that many people, including tourists, will be looking forward to our cultural sites and heritage spaces opening up again.

“If everyone sticks to the rules we will be able to drive the virus down further and live less restricted lives in the weeks and months ahead. People should look for those safety measures and be aware of the need to follow the FACTS at all times when out in the community.”

Iain Munro, Chief Executive said:

“We welcome the next steps out of lockdown in Scotland, in line with the clear guidance published by the Scottish Government. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to create significant challenges for people and organisations across the culture sector, but this is a positive step for some venues, enabling them to start to reopen safely and begin to re-establish the vital role they play in our cultural lives, our communities and our economy.”


Photo from Adobe Stock by Thampapon1