Over 50 English Heritage attractions will reopen on the 29th March, in accordance with the first easing of restrictions outlined in the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The plan is then for Stonehenge and the charity’s portfolio of holiday cottages to welcome the public from 12th April, property interiors to reopen as of 17th May, and a full summer events programme to begin from the 21st June.
The organisation says all sites selected for reopening later this month feature large outdoor spaces and consequently possess “plenty of room for social distancing”.
Tintagel Castle, Whitby Abbey and Dover Castle are among the historic sites set to admit visitors from the 29thMarch.
All phases of the scheduled reopening will be contingent on the country continuing to meet the four tests set out by the prime minister in his address to the nation in February.
The four tests
In order for relaxations of the current restrictions to continue as planned, the following tests must be met:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern
“We can’t wait to open up our sites again and to welcome people back,” says Kate Mavor, English Heritage’s chief executive. “It’s been a long, long winter and our sites – with their wide open spaces, beautiful buildings, fun events and fascinating stories – will be the tonic we all need.”
To ensure safety across all its sites, English Heritage will return to the model of members and non-members alike having to pre-book visits online in specific date and time slots.