As museums and galleries tentatively begin to open in England, and Welsh museums unveil plans to re-open, one thing that is begining to become increasingly clear is that the public experience will be quite different from the last time they visited – before the pandemic.
Visitors will be asked to book in advance, even to the free entry museums, so that queuing outside is kept to a minimum and numbers can be carefully controlled and visitors monitored.
Once inside, visitors will be asked to follow one way routes and to keep two meters, social distancing, from one-another. Lingering at a particular exhibit or artwork will be shorter with the pressure of the flow behind.
Face masks will be recommended, and probably made compulsory, in most establishments.
Come the Autumn and Winter you are likely to want to take a scarf and a stiff coat, as the museums will feel fresher (or a bit on the chilly side), as doors are left open and fans and air-cons are turned on to increase ventilation, where-ever possible.
However these changes are going to be most wellcome by the vast majority of the British public who cannot wait to get out of the house and immerse themselves in some face-to-face culture!
Below are some re-opening dates in Wales and England
British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire from 4th July
Derby Museum & Art Gallery , from 7 July
National Army Museum in London, from 7 July.
Foundling Museum., London, from July 8th
Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea, from July 8th
The Barbican’s Art Gallery and Conservatory, from 13 July
Whitechapel Gallery, London, from 14 July
Photographers’ Gallery, London, from 14 July
Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent, from 22 July
Tate group of galleries: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives from 27th July
The Hepworth, Wakefield, early August
Nottingham Contemporary, early August
Wales (information for National Museum of Wales sites only at present)
St Fagans National Museum of History (outdoor grounds only) from 4th August, then from 24th August
National Museum Cardiff, from 24th August
National Slate Museum, Llanberis, from 24th August
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, from 24th August
The National Wool Museum, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, From 1 September
Big Pit , Blaenafon, from 1 September
National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, from 1 September