Focus | How to make outdoor areas Covid-19 safe - Museums Association

Focus | How to make outdoor areas Covid-19 safe

Practical tips - from ticketing systems to signage
Juliana Gilling
  1. Manage capacity with pre-booking and timed tickets. Ticketing websites such as Eventbrite can help with contact tracing, but if that’s not possible, create systems to record visitor information.
  2. Publish pre-visit advice on your website and social media channels. Use a customer relationship management system to notify people
    of changes.
  3. Ask staff to check tickets outdoors and encourage contactless transactions.
  4. Use signage to remind guests to maintain a safe social distance. Clearly communicate one-way routes and create spaced queuing systems.
  5. There is a risk that people could become Covid complacent, especially if they’ve been vaccinated. Compton Verney has worked with the local police to reinforce the social distancing message. “We encouraged them to drop in when we were a little busier,” says Julie Finch, the director and chief executive officer at Compton Verney. “They just walked around, checking on people.”
  6. Consider how to control traffic flow in toilets. You may need extra signage, cones to direct people or a maximum number allowed in at a time. Some venues have introduced hourly cleaning, while Compton Verney has hired professional cleaners who sanitise toilets after each use.
  7. Be rigorous about ensuring workshops are Covid safe. Staff at the Irish Museum of Modern Art sanitise chairs and tables before and after every event. They create individual packs of art materials, which are stored separately for 72 hours before use. People are also encouraged to bring their own materials. 
  8. Conduct a thorough risk assessment. Ensure everyone working is Covid safe by asking them to complete risk-assessment forms.
  9. Working outdoors can be exhausting, so give volunteers and staff what they need, whether it’s shelter, sunscreen, seating or refreshments.
  10. Keep sanitiser stations available and invest in personal protective equipment.
  11. Adapt food and beverage offerings. When Compton Verney’s caterer left suddenly, the gallery brought in a local provider with an outdoor coffee “pod”. At Beamish, pre-booked lunches and picnic bags have proved popular. 

Juliana Gilling is a freelance journalist

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