Scottish museums

Scottish museums and galleries respond to Phase 3 reopening announcement

Image: V&A Dundee © Hufton+Crow

Six major Scottish cultural organisations have released a joint statement in response to first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that museums, galleries and other visitor attractions can reopen from 15th July.

The Scottish Government has confirmed museums, galleries, monuments, libraries, visitor attractions and cinemas can reopen from Wednesday 15th July, provided physical distancing and other measures such as pre-booked ticketing is in place.

Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Scotland, The National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Life, V&A Dundee and Industrial Museums Scotland have released a joint statement in response to this decision.

We warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement that museums and galleries can reopen our doors as part of the third phase of lockdown easing and we are looking forward to greeting our visitors once again.

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.

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.

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.  

Assuming the current trends in Covid-19 cases continue, the earliest point non-essential offices and indoor events – such as theatre shows – will be given permission to reopen in Scotland is 31st July.