Museum Shops

Updated 19/06/2020

 On 12 June, the Government updated the Health Protection regulations on preventing the spread of Covid-19 to further ease some of the lockdown restrictions.

The changes mean that some museums may be able to reopen their cafes and shops from 15 June 2020 on the same terms as other non-essential retail businesses and cafes.

This means that museums can open their café or shop provided it is self-contained (i.e. separate from the museum building which remains off limits to the public) and customers can enter from a place outside the closed museum.

If these conditions apply to a museum and they wish to reopen their shop or café, they will need to follow the Guidance for Shops and Branches and/or the Guidance for Food Businesses.

Museums must remain closed to the public until further restrictions are officially lifted.

“Of course we’re safe. There’s a little shop.”

Doctor Who, Amy’s Choice, 2010

 Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your shop self-contained?
  • Can you offer an alternative entrance to your shop that does not take visitors through exhibition spaces?
  • Is your space bid enough to accommodate social distancing?
  • Will you need to remove shelving to make room?
  • Will you be able to provide signage/screens and protective equipment around your till area?
  • Will you be able to offer contactless payment options?
  • If you must handle cash, what can you do to mitigate the risks associated with transfer contamination?
  • Can you limit the number of lines you sell, and only display a certain number of the same item to reduce handling?
  • Do you have enough staff or volunteers to man the shop safely and also handle the administration and banking tasks?
  • Do you need to offer retraining opportunities for staff and volunteers so that they are confident with new hygiene procedures and also with the till etc?
  • What queries do you anticipate the public will ask if they visit your shop? Is it worth thinking about these in advance so that your staff and volunteers are prepared?


Health Protection regulations (amendment 4)

Guidance for shops from the government

Guidance for food businesses

Guidance from the Association of Convenience Retailers


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