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The Higgins Bedford to reopen on 25 August 2020

August 21, 2020 5:34 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

The Higgins BedfordAfter being closed for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Higgins Bedford will be reopening to the public on Tuesday 25 August.

With lockdown measures easing over the summer various shops and other facilities locally began to open. The Council has been closely monitoring the impact of these changes on the local rate of infections and is confident that it is safe to begin a cautious and phased reopening of leisure and culture services, with stringent infection prevention measures in place.

Visitors will once again be able to enjoy displays telling the story of the local area, alongside nationally significant collections of art and design.

New measures will be in place for the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff, and to help ensure an enjoyable experience for all. This has included reducing the capacity of the museum to ensure that people can socially distance. This means visitors will need to book a free timed entry ticket online before their visit by visiting www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk or by calling 01234 718044.

Everyone visiting The Higgins Bedford must wear a face covering, except for children under 11 or for the legitimate reasons set out in Government guidance.

Visitors will be able to view the popular Dreams and Nightmares exhibition, featuring artworks selected from the Cecil Higgins Collection, which has been extended to Sunday 20 September 2020. As well as being able to visit the galleries, the museum shop will be open while The Higgins Pantry café has already reopened its doors (opening times can be found at www.thehigginspantry.co.uk).

The Higgins Bedford has introduced a number of measures in line with Government and public heath guidance, to ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Limiting visitor numbers will allow everyone to maintain a 2 metre social distance from others not from the same household. There will be a one way system in operation with separate entrance and exit routes, and hand washing and sanitising facilities will be available throughout the building.

Customer toilet facilities will be open with clear queuing systems in place, and cleaning has been increased. Interactive displays will be removed as well as shared information folders about the displays, but visitors will be able to access these on mobile devices by scanning new QR codes.

Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help visitors have a safe and enjoyable time, while measures such as screens will be in place to help ensure everyone's safety. In addition, The Higgins Bedford will be collecting contact details for visitors to support NHS Test and Trace in the prevention of further local COVID-19 outbreaks.

As the council starts to reopen these services, it is urging people to continue to behave responsibly and help to avoid a local lockdown. That includes staying 2 metres away from others, wearing a face covering if you can, washing your hands regularly or using hand sanitiser, and if you are displaying any symptoms, stay at home and book a test.