Advice on Reopening

Updated 22/06/2021

The government introduced a third lockdown on 5 January 2021, and a 4 step roadmap to ending the lockdown was announced on the 22 February 2021.

Museums were permitted to reopen on 17 May 2021.

View the roadmap guidance.

The Government has provided information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.

Track and Trace

Businesses have a duty to support NHS Test and Trace.

It will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system in place to collect NHS Test and Trace data and keep it for 21 days.

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace – GOV.UK (


  • NHS Test and Trace is working at pace to support any business with more than 50 employees who have staff who have to leave their home for work to deliver testing to their employees, and to engage with all sectors and employers interested in this offer.
  • In addition to scaling up employer-led testing, testing is also being delivered locally by local authorities in England under the Community Testing Programme. Where medium-sized organisations (50-250 employees) can access asymptomatic testing more effectively through community testing these can continue to be considered for testing through this channel by local authorities.

Register to order coronavirus tests for your employees – GOV.UK (

Reopening after Lockdown

HANDS      wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds

FACE         wear a face covering in indoor settings where social    distancing may be difficult and where  you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet

SPACE      stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place

The guidance for reopening at the end of lockdown is detailed, and encompasses carrying out effective risk assessments, advice around protection for workforces, PPE guidelines, managing inbound and outbound goods and temporary works at historic sites.

The guidance also includes the need to contribute to the government’s Track and Trace system, by collecting and temporarily storing your visitors’ data for 21 days.

Please follow the link below to read the full guidance.

Government Reopening Guidance

The National Museum Directors’ Council’s (NMDC) Planning and Remobilisation Group have produced a set of reopening guidelines specifically for museums in England with support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, (DCMS) and with contributions from across the museum sector.

Please read the guidance via the link below.

NMDC Guidance

Alongside this, a checklist has been produced by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and the Museum Development Network (MDN) 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.

You can work through the AIM / MDN checklist via the link below.

AIM / MDN Checklist

The South East Museum Development team launched our Reopening Toolkit for museums in the South East in early June, which can be used in tandem with both the National guidance and the checklist mentioned above.

This document contains easy to absorb fact sheets, advice on the questions to consider when planning to reopen, and is aimed at teams at the early stage of planning their reopening.

You can download the toolkit via the link below.

Reopening Museums Toolkit

If you have any questions about reopening your museum, or would simply like to have a chat around the topic, then please do get in touch with your regional Museum Development Officer (MDO). Find the contact details for your region’s MDO.

Accessibility Options

The following options may make it easier for you to use this website

Change the contrast of colours and text

Change the size of the size of the text

Toggle the display of images