We are really keen that you should have the opportunity to visit Ashford Museum and see our collections again, but your health and that of our volunteers is of the utmost important to us. It is for this reason that we have introduced measures to reduce the risk of transmission of Coronavirus between you and other visitors, and between you and our volunteers.
With these and other measures in place the Museum has acquired the Visit Britain ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark showing that it follows government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, has a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
Museum opening hours
Fewer of our volunteers will be helping to run the Museum because many are of an age or have health conditions that make it unsafe for them to help.
From 17th July we will open 11.00 am to 2.00 pm, Friday and Saturday of each week.
Please check our website or Facebook page for details.
To ensure that our volunteers have sufficient time to clean the Museum without delaying them unduly you will not be able to enter the Museum after 1.30pm.
Your visit might take longer than it would if you could move freely round the Museum so please allow plenty of time.
Obviously, you must not visit the Museum
- if you have symptoms of Coronavirus - a high temperature - a new, continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste - nor
- if you have been informed by NHS Test and Trace that you have been in contact with somebody having Coronavirus.
Please, also, do not visit if you have any cough, cold, flu or other infectious condition.
Face coverings or gloves
Although the measures we have in place will ensure that the Museum does not become crowded and that 2m distance is maintained between visitors or groups of visitors, we ask that you follow the latest government guidance and wear a face covering when you visit the Museum.
The World Health Organisation advises that regularly washing (or sanitising) your bare hands offers more protection than wearing rubber gloves.
To prevent cross contamination, if you wear gloves please ensure they are new or sanitised and have not been worn anywhere else before your visit to the Museum.
Arriving as a group
We ask that if you come to the Museum in a group there are no more than five people, all from the same household, in your group and that your group stays together during your visit.
The slideshow below shows what to expect when you visit the Museum
To reduce the risk of transmission of the virus via surfaces we will provide sanitiser to cleanse your hands on arrival at the Museum, nevertheless we ask that you avoid touching display cases and any exhibits not in cases as far as is practical.
All surfaces that can be touched are cleaned daily. Surfaces such as buttons and handles on interactive displays and handrails are cleaned as often as is practical during the time the Museum is open.
Because it will be difficult to achieve physical distancing our first floor is closed. Access has been restricted to some hard to clean surfaces and small objects. Please do not enter the restricted areas and do not touch articles in those areas.
Sanitiser will also be available as you leave the Museum.
Please follow UK Government advice and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.
NHS Test and Trace visitor details
Government guidance requires us to collect details of all of our visitors to support NHS Test and Trace. The details we collect will not be divulged to any person or organisation other than as required by legislation. The details will be destroyed when no longer required for NHS Test and Trace.
One-way and physical distancing
Although the UK Government has relaxed physical distancing requirements in some circumstances, they still advise that, if possible, we should try to maintain a distance of at least 2m between visitors and between visitors and volunteers. To help us to do this we have divided the Museum into Zones and created a one-way system round the Museum.
You will be required to follow the one-way system and will not be permitted to move into a Zone if there is already another visitor or visitor group in that Zone. Signs will tell you when you are moving from one Zone to the next. When you have left a Zone you will not be able to return to it.
Our volunteers may wear faceshields to reduce the risk on occasions that 2m distancing cannot be maintained. Nevertheless please do not get nearer to them than 2m if you can avoid it.
If you use a wheelchair or walking aid you will not be able to follow the one-way system as it includes a step. Volunteers will direct you and ask other visitors to stand back while you pass against the one-way system.
Because you will leave the Museum by a different door to that by which you enter it we cannot accommodate the storage of buggies, push chairs or prams during your visit.
Because you will not be permitted to enter the Museum if a previous visitor or group is in the First Zone, it is possible that at busy times you will have to queue before entering the Museum. Please keep your group together in the queue, stay 2m away from other visitors/visitor groups and keep close to the wall, to allow pedestrians to pass, when queuing.
To avoid the need for our volunteers to handle cash we will not, initially, be selling souvenirs, books or cards.
We will continue to accept cash donations via the donation boxes in the Museum, as we can manage the risk of handling cash more easily when we empty the donation boxes with no visitors are present. Alternatively we can now accept payments by card, Apple and Google Pay or you can donate via Virgin Money Giving
It is not practical for us to provide visitor toilets at the Museum.
The nearest toilets in the Ashford Borough Council Community Toilet Scheme are at:
- The Pheonix, Tufton Street
- County Square, Tufton Street
Both have disabled toilets