Updated 14/05/20

There are a number of measures required for the safe reopening of businesses.  Museums must ensure that social distancing, which will continue for some time even after lockdown has been lifted, can be implemented safely and responsibly.

Specialists estimate that it will take businesses about 3 or 4 weeks to prepare their sites for reopening. This includes establishing clear guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Public Health England has said that one of greatest factors to consider is that the public will not only want to be safe as they return to leisure businesses, but they will want to feel safe.

The Health and Safety Executive has also added that museums should undertake comprehensive health and safety checks on all aspects of their businesses, as many sites have been unoccupied for several weeks.

Periodic security checks on your museum and its collections can be considered ‘essential work’. One needs to have the Museum Director/Manager/Trustee write a letter granting a named member of staff permission to check on the security of the building and collection during lockdown.

The key to the successful recovery of this sector is building and maintaining customer confidence. Museums should only reopen when they feel it is safe and responsible to do so.

 Questions to ask yourself

  • Have you checked the security of your premises prior to re-opening?
  • Have you carried out a health and safety risk assessment to ensure it is safe to open?
  • Have you carried out a legionella risk assessment to look at the condition of your water system if your building has been unoccupied?
  • Have you contacted your insurers to keep them informed?
  • Have you communicated with your team to ensure they feel safe?
  • Do you need additional support or facilities for people to access emergency services if required?


“This was the single most famous property theft outside war time.”

Noah Charney on the theft of the Mona Lisa by Vincenzo Peruggia, 1911



 Keeping your collections safe during lock down from South East Museum Development Programme (SEMDP)

Government advice on financial support for businesses

Arts Council England’s advice on meeting security and environmental requirements for the Government Indemnity Scheme (GIS):

Security checklist from South East Museum Development Programme (SEMDP)
Appendix 3

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