Following the government’s announcement that museums and galleries will be allowed to reopen from 4th July, the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) has published Good Practice Guidelines on Opening Museums After July 4th.
These guidelines are intended to help employers, employees and the self-employed, and volunteers in the museum sector in England understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NMDC has also produced a timeline of possible stages of reopening, as there will be no single date on which all museums reopen, but rather a range of different approaches depending on the individual museum.
Updates are made regularly (and listed at the bottom of the website) as government guidance changes so keep checking the website to make sure you are working to the most recent version.
Alongside this, a checklist has been produced by AIM and the Museum Development Network to be used in conjunction with the NMDC Guidelines to help museums take a strategic, well informed approach to making decisions on reopening and implementing a safe and effective plan in conjunction with the national guidance for museums.
The checklist does not tell you exactly how your reopened museum should operate – individual circumstances will vary enormously – it is intended to help you develop your reopening plans and provides you with a methodology to follow.
The government has also published wider guidance to be used in conjunction with the sector specific guidance: The Working safely during coronavirus guidance in different settings now includes the visitor economy and heritage locations. The working safely list of guidance also includes guides relevant to museums e.g. shops and offices. Guidance for DCMS sectors in relation to coronavirus has also been collated in one section on the government website.
Recordings (subtitles are available) are on our YouTube channel of the webinars held with AIM on interpreting the guidance, with Ben Melham of Mortice Consulting on preparing to reopen, and DCN and EMBED on reopening with inclusive practice. A recording of our webinar with Kids in Museums on creating a family friendly environment on reopening is also available on their YouTube channel. Please note that the advice given within these videos was based on the most up to date Government guidance at the time of recording and may have changed since.
Other resources for reopening include:
Space for Learning – Covid guidance for museums, galleries, heritage and performing arts sites
A document to help learning services and freelancers understand how to work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to provide a practical framework to think about what is needed to continue, or restart, learning services during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support the health and wellbeing of workers and audiences.
Kids in Museums – How to use the Kids in Museums Manifesto to plan for reopening
A guide to how museums can provide a quality experience for children and families when they reopen with social distancing measures.
ICON – Waking Up Collections: A Post-Lockdown Guide
Icon and the Icon Care of Collections Group have published a new guide and checklist to outline how to address collection conservation issues that might have occurred during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown period.
South East Museums Development – Reopening Museums Toolkit
The Reopening Museums Toolkit aims to support museums during the early stages of planning. The Toolkit provides practical advice and offers questions for museums to work through to help define their recovery plans.
EMBED – Reopening recommendation guidance
The guidance has been created to support organisations in their decision making prior to reopening following COVID-19 lockdown. It considers potential barriers faced by disabled visitors and customers and offers solution based guidance for organisations of all types with the ultimate aim of keeping stakeholders, staff, volunteers visitors, students or customers as safe as possible.
Also available to help inform reopening plans is the latest Recovery Tracker research from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), offering key insights into how visitors are feeling about returning to attractions.