Stringent safety precautions – including a reduced admission and pre-booking – will enable to Roman Baths to reopen from July 6th.
The Council’s other heritage attractions – the Victoria Gallery and Fashion Museum – are planned to re-open at Easter next year.
Following the Government’s announcement today that heritage sites can reopen, the Roman Baths team will provide a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors in line with physical distancing and industry guidelines. It will keep a two-metre distance rule.
The key measures include welcoming visitors to a maximum of 30% of the site’s normal capacity, pre-booking all admissions and delaying the return of group visitors until at least two months after opening.
Local residents and Discovery Cardholders will be welcomed but will also need to pre-book a free ticket online.
One-way routes with 2m markers will be in place, as well as screens in reception areas, staff marshalling at key points to ensure physical distancing takes place and an increased cleaning regime.
Due to the confined spaces within the museum, physical distancing will be kept at two metres for the time being and will be kept under review.
From Monday July 6 until further notice, opening hours will be adjusted to 10am-5pm with last entry at 4pm to allow staff safer travel times to work. Wednesday mornings from 10am-11.30am will be reserved for visitors with additional accessibility needs.
Visitors will be reminded to keep their distance and wash their hands regularly. Toilet facilities will be managed to allow safe access to one person or family group at a time. Audio guides will be cleaned thoroughly between each use and available to use with visitors’ personal headphones if they so wish.
The measures at the Roman Baths are part of the council’s priority to ensure the health of residents and visitors is protected, at the same time as reopening Bath safely to the many people that visit the city each year.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “It is fantastic news for residents and visitors that the Roman Baths can open its doors once again and we are looking forward to welcoming people back. However, we must continue to do all we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the same time as providing a great visitor experience.
“Although we have to reduce the number of people we can safely admit at any one time and unfortunately cannot yet accommodate groups, our ‘new normal’ at the Roman Baths should not detract from people’s enjoyment of this internationally-renowned heritage site.
We will have a keen focus on hygiene as well as social distancing, so we ask for visitors’ cooperation in keeping two metres apart on one-way routes as well as washing their hands regularly.
“Reopening the Roman Baths is another important step forward in opening the whole city back up for visitors, supported by our pavement widening and traffic restriction measures that will allow people to socially distance as they travel around the city. These measures will in no way impair visitors’ access to the city’s car parks from which it is only a short walk into the city centre.”
The Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery are planned to reopen at Easter in 2021. Visitors can still access a range of interactive content and enjoy the museum collections online at https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/ and https://www.victoriagal.org.uk/
More information about visiting the Roman Baths can be found at https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/
Please see the interview with Cllr Paul Crossley – Cabinet member for Heritage – elsewhere on this page. He explains how the Roman Baths will lead the way in gradually getting things back to a more normal situation.