THE SHAKESPEARE Birthplace Trust is hoping to welcome back visitors on May 17 – a key date in the government’s restriction-lifting roadmap.
The Bard’s childhood home was among tourist attractions the world over forced to close its doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Last year it suffered a loss of £8.5million, and has relied on emergency funding from Arts Council England and the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, designed to help arts and heritage organisations to survive the pandemic.
Spokeswoman Rachael O’Connor-Boyd said: “Reopening Shakespeare’s Birthplace is an important and positive step for the town’s economy and for the nation’s culture and tourism sectors. Between now and May, we will be developing detailed operating plans building on the success of last year’s opening in between lockdowns where we were able to welcome more than 23,000 people safely through our doors. Although we remain cautious in our planning, we look forward to warmly welcoming visitors back again and sharing Shakespeare’s rich stories and his enduring legacy in the safest way possible.”
The attraction has been awarded Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation for covid-19 safe attractions and will be responding to the gradually-changing regulations with safety measures in place across the Birthplace, garden and shop, and an online advanced timed ticketing system.
All visitors will be required to wear face coverings, follow a one-way route, and maintain social distancing. Tickets must be booked online in advance through our website.
Meanwhile, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Shop in Henley Street will open independently on April 12 in line with the reopening of non-essential retail. The trust is also planning for a phased reopening of more of its Shakespeare family homes, and will announce the details in due course.
Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk to learn about Shakespeare and for activities and educational resources.