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How we are keeping our visitors and staff safe


When can I visit Herbert Art Gallery & Museum?

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum reopens on Monday 3 August 2020.

In line with government guidance, we have made some changes to our operations to ensure our visitors and staff are safe. Further information on these measures can be found below.

How is Herbert Art Gallery & Museum ensuring my visit is safe?

The safety of our staff and visitors is our number one priority. We have reviewed our processes and procedures across the organisation and implemented several measures to ensure we can open safely.

Measures are listed below, but government guidance may change, meaning our safety measures may change too;

  • We have reduced our visitor capacity in line with social distancing requirements, this may result in a small wait before entering the museum or individual galleries.
  • Our visitor entrances have slightly altered. Please follow signage when you arrive.
  • We have implemented a one-way route so visitors can enjoy their visit and avoid crowds. Signage and barriers mark the way.
  • Protective screens have been installed at desks and within the café.
  • To protect visitors, some ‘hands on’ interactives are out of use until further notice - but look out for other less tactile activities which may replace them.
  • All events, tours and gallery led activities have been postponed until further notice.
  • Takeaway food and drink will be available from Alfreds café.
  • Our Gift Shop is currently closed.
  • In line with government guidance face coverings are mandatory onsite from Saturday 8 August 2020.
  • We have plenty of hand washing facilities, including sinks in restrooms and hand sanitiser stations throughout the museum.
  • We have an increased cleaning schedule across the museum which seeks to disinfect high-frequency touch points, such as tables and chairs, taps, handles, elevator buttons, handrails, self-service machines and benches.
  • In our toilet facilities, we ask our visitors to follow social distancing, and if cubicles are engaged please queue outside. We ask visitors to remember to wash hands before and after using our toilet facilities. If you need to pass another person whilst entering or exiting, in line with government guidance, we ask that you turn your back to them as you walk past. Our team will regularly check toilet facilities, ensuring they are clean and soap dispensers are full.
  • Social distancing markers and signage are located around the gallery as reminders. We ask that we all work together to follow social distancing guidance. Visitors who persistently disregard social distancing guidelines will be asked to leave.
  • If you lip read, please ask our staff to remove their face covering.
  • We ask that any children in your group are supervised to ensure they can follow social distancing guidelines.
  • We recommend making any payments, where possible, using a card (contactless if possible, we have increased our contactless limit to £45). If this is not possible, to reduce cash handling, we ask that you pay with the exact amount or donate any over-payments to the gallery.
  • Staff have been trained on the implementation of new safety measures, ensuring we are compliant with government guidelines for opening safely. Please pay attention to instructions provided by our staff. We may put temporary measures in place to safeguard you.
  • If you are not feeling well with either one or more of the symptoms of Covid-19, please do not visit. Stay at home and follow government and NHS 111 advice. We will be here to welcome you back when you feel better.

Why have you reduced capacity?

The safety of our visitors is our top priority and we will be operating at a reduced visitor capacity to ensure social distancing can easily be adhered to.

Will I be able to just turn up on the day?

Yes, but due to reduced capacity there may be a short wait to enter the gallery Our Welcome Host will talk you through the changes which have been implemented onsite.

Are the opening hours the same?

The opening hours are the same, however we recommend that you arrive before 3.00pm to ensure entry.

The opening hours (including bank holidays) are:

Monday - Saturday: 10.00am - 4.00pm

Sunday: 12.00pm - 4.00pm

(Closed: 24, 25 & 26 December and 1 January)

Before lockdown you announced redevelopment works were starting, what galleries are accessible?

As part of our preparations for City of Culture 2021, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is redeveloping several gallery spaces. The works will mean that some objects are no longer on permanent display, but it also provides an opportunity to display more of our collections and ensure we are able to deliver exhibitions of an even higher standard moving forward.

For this much needed work to be completed, the following closures are taking place.

  • What’s In Store Gallery was permanently closed in January 2020
  • Elements Gallery was permanently closed from March 2020
  • Art Since 1900 Gallery was permanently closed from March 2020
  • Godiva Gallery is temporarily closed
  • Sculpture Gallery is temporarily closed
  • Our main exhibition gallery is temporarily closed due to exhibition switch over, but will be open again in October 2020.

Although some galleries are permanently closing, the improved spaces will be open again following the works, which we expect to be in January 2021. Although most of the galleries on the first floor are currently closed, they will still be accessible for the use of the restrooms and for those attending pre-booked workshops.

How long can I stay at the gallery?

We are not enforcing time limits on visits and you are welcome to stay for as long as you like. We do however ask that during your visit you do not leave the gallery and re-enter.

Can I meet others at the gallery?

Government guidelines state you can meet in groups of up to two households if you follow social distancing. We are following this guidance and ask our visitors to do the same, we will update this measure in line with government guidance changes.

Am I required to wear a face mask?

In line with government guidance face coverings are mandatory onsite from Saturday 8 August 2020.

Will I be able to pay with cash?

We recommend making any payments, where possible, using a card (contactless if possible, we have increased our contactless limit to £45). If this is not possible, to reduce cash handling, we ask that you pay with the exact amount or donate any over-payments to the gallery.

Will everything in the gallery be open?

Whilst there will be lots to see and explore, we have decided to take some ‘hands on’ interactives out of order until further notice. Make sure to look out for other less tactile activities which may replace them.

Can I visit Coventry Archives?

Entrance to Coventry Archives will be via Bayley Lane and then through the Covered court entrance side, following the route.  Exit will be via the Covered Court exit side, and through the public door at the far end leading onto Cathedral Square.

Please ensure that you have booked an appointment prior to your visit to use any of our facilities in Coventry Archives. You can do this by ringing 0247 623 7583 or email at We are only able to provide limited numbers for research on a daily basis. To avoid disappointment of being unable to enter it is strongly advised to follow this procedure. 

If you are looking to donate material to the archives then contact Victoria Northridge Archives Manager on 0247 623 7545.  Please do not bring donated material if you have not contacted the Archives Manager prior to your visit as you will be unable to enter.

Will I be able to get food and drink when I visit?

Takeaway food and drink will be available from Alfreds café which is opening at the reduced hours of Monday - Friday, 10.00am – 2.00pm.

Can I bring a picnic?

Due to the limited spaces within the gallery due to social distancing and redevelopment works, we have had to close our picnic areas for the foreseeable future. There are however lots of lovely places to stop for a picnic pre or post-visit, why not pick a spot within the cathedral ruins?

Can I still buy items from the gift shop?

Our Gift Shop is currently closed. We will update these FAQs as soon as this changes.

Are events, tours and gallery led family activities still taking place?

Although the museum is reopening, a majority of events, tours and museum led family activities are currently postponed. To see what events we are currently offering, please visit our events page. 

What is happening regarding First Aid onsite?

We continue to offer First Aid and ask visitors to be as careful as possible during their visit. Staff will help you wherever possible and will wear the necessary protective equipment for your and their safety as outlined in the updated guidance issued by St Johns Ambulance.

I need to use a wheelchair during my visit, will one be available to borrow?

Wheelchairs are still available onsite and will be sanitised after each use

I have a question which is not mentioned – what can I do?

Please email and we will respond as soon as possible. We apologise if it takes us a little longer than usual, but we aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours Monday – Friday. Any enquiries received during the weekend or on bank holidays will be responded to on the next working day.

We thank you for your understanding.

Enjoy your visit!

COVID-19 Risk Assessment Last Updated: 10/07/2020

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Email or call us on 024 7623 7521.

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