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Successful Reopening of Sites

Published: 04 August 2020

The Shetland Amenity Trust reopened its doors to the public at the Shetland Museum and Archives and the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre in recent weeks with a positive response from locals and visitors alike.

The Shetland Museum and Archives reopened on the 16th of July allowing entry to only pre-booked individuals and groups with a range of new social distancing measures in place.  Sumburgh Head opened shortly afterwards with various measures in place to limit visitor numbers and ensure social distancing.  The number of visitors allowed into each building at one time has been restricted to ensure social distancing between groups.  Even with these restrictions in place, the team have now welcomed over 500 people through the doors.

Sandy Middleton, Head of Engagement at the Shetland Amenity Trust said: “We are really excited to be welcoming visitors back to both the Shetland Museum and Archives and Sumburgh Head, and to provide somewhere for people to visit whilst so much is still closed.

“The safety and comfort of our staff and visitors is our top priority. We’ve been working hard across both our sites to ensure all the necessary safety measures are in place in line with the Scottish Government Guidance. This includes pre-booked tickets, restricted visitor numbers, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand sanitising stations and one-way routes in certain areas of our sites.

“The feedback we’ve received from visitors so far has been really positive, we’re really pleased to hear that people are enjoying their experience with us and feel safe.”

One visitor to the Shetland Museum and Archives left the following review on Facebook: “Felt safe and staff were super friendly and clued up on how to keep you safe. Made a donation online with their QR code. Thanks for a lovely laid back experience.”

Following a group visit from Ability Shetland they commented: “Very welcoming and relaxed despite the COVID-19 lockdown measures. Thank you. We will be back.”

Commenting on the reopening of Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre, site manager Jane Outram said: “It’s been really encouraging to see a steady flow of visitors to the site who are now visiting the newly opened indoor areas. We have had a real mix of visitors and locals – many of whom are visiting the site for the first time and have been really impressed with the visitor centre and exhibitions.”

Shetland Amenity Trust’s re-opening plan has been created so that it's flexible and ready to adapt if the need arises; either as a result of further guidance from the Government, or because of things learnt during the early stages of re-opening.

As always visiting the Shetland Museum and Archives is free with donations welcome. Buying a ticket for the Sumburgh Head Visitor Centre helps to support the site, care of the lighthouse and provide facilities for our visitors.

Booking is essential at the Shetland Museum and Archives, visitors are now asked to book online at www.shetlandmuseumandarchives.org.uk/visit or call 01595 695057, in order for staff to manage visitor numbers.   

Tickets are available onsite at Sumburgh Head, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve or you can buy a reduced rate ticket online at thelittleboxoffice.com/sat. The Visitor Centre is only open for a few more weeks, with the summer season drawing to a close on Thursday 20 August 2020.