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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

Coronavirus - Latest Information

Museums Staff Update - Friday 3 July

Hi everyone

Since Duncan’s first message a Glasgow Life wide document called ‘Returning to Work Guide v1’ has been circulated and is available to all staff. If you have not seen a copy of this, please ask your manager or use the link above.

This guide outlines the company wide approach that will be taken as more of us go back to workplaces and as that time approaches for each of you, your manager will talk to you individually.

Yesterday, an all staff email was circulated which goes through the company’s approach to reopening 61 of the buildings we operate. There was a staff FAQs included. Again, if you have not seen a copy of this, please use the link above or ask your manager for a copy.

Over the next few months, 5 of the buildings where we work are scheduled to reopen and we are working to the following dates (indicative and subject to change):

  • GMRC – staff access to start preparation for other buildings, week beginning 20th July
  • KG – staff access w/b 3rd August and for visitors w/b 17th August
  • RM – staff access w/b 17th August and for visitors w/b 31st August
  • GoMA – staff access w/b 14th September and for visitors w/b 5th October
  • Mitchell – staff access w/b 21st September (Libraries team are leading this work)

In order for any of the buildings to reopen much planning has already taken place. A building recovery plan, a Covd-19 risk assessment and an Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) will be drafted and signed off for each building, these will be shared with the Trade Unions.

These key documents will ensure that everything has been thought of including cleanliness and safety measures such as one way systems where appropriate, physical distancing signage, perspex screens, hand sanitizer stations and reduced maximum visitor capacity. We intend to have a booking system in place so that timed tickets can be issued to visitors in advance. The EQIA will help us ensure an inclusive approach to building reopening.

There will be some training for all of us to help us understand what will be different. Some of us will work from home and go ‘into the office’ on an agreed regular basis dependent on role and circumstance, others will start to welcome visitors in very different circumstances.

Over the past few weeks (and months now) a few of us have been keeping up to date with thinking in the museums sector and visitor sentiments to help inform our plans. This means we are aware what the Scottish Government sector guidance might include and we’ve kept in touch with colleagues at Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), Museums and Galleries Scotland (MGS) and National Museums Directors Council (NMDC).  We have been researching what has worked well in museums that have already opened in New Zealand and Europe. We are in close contact with museums in England that will be opening ahead of Scotland and will be monitoring their progress and lessons learned.

Finally, a new UK wide standard called ‘We’re Good To Go’ was launched last week by the UK tourism boards. It is a little like CSE (Customer Service Excellence) but aims to reassure visitors (and staff) that tourism and hospitality businesses have worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. We will be applying for this mark for each of the museum buildings opening to the public.

We are very aware that in the last few days a large amount of information has been shared. As senior managers, and a management team we are here to support and help each of you through this time, so please ask if anything is unclear or you have any questions. 

Stay safe,

Jane and Katherine


Museums staff update: Monday 29 June


It’s been 13 weeks since government advice led us to close our museums. That was a difficult day for many of us and since then we’ve all had a lot to contend with. It’s encouraging our joint efforts to contain Covid-19 are working and we can begin to move forward. Now we are in phase 2 and restriction are easing I’m sure, like me, you and your family will be pleased to return to some of the simple things we’ve missed.

The Scottish Government’s decision to further ease the lockdown in July also lets us begin preparations to reopen buildings. Before I say a little more on our plans for the gradual, safe, reopening of Glasgow Museums I want to take a moment to say thank you.

Overnight we were catapulted into a surreal working environment. It’s been evident on so many occasions that this proved to be a great motivator. Colleagues across the team adapted quickly and creatively to ensure our audiences could continue to access the culture they craved, albeit in a different way. Some of you have been involved in building checks and checking on collections in our care while others have carried on collection related work from your homes. Thank you for your efforts, energy and enthusiasm.

I’d also like to recognise that I know it has been a challenge for some to keep in touch and connect in easily and this is part of the reason for setting up this page.

In due course, this page will provide an overview of the recovery planning that is underway and as agreement is reached it will outline the changes being introduced to enable us to return safely to workplaces and then allow people to return to our museums. The most important thing in all of this is the safety of every person who works with or visits Glasgow Museums.

In line with sector guidance, and working with Glasgow Life colleagues, we are drafting detailed recovery plans. These plans will consider all aspects necessary to ensure appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place and that our workplaces are as safe as possible. This includes making the appropriate training available to all and ensuring cleaning, maintenance and required risk assessments are completed. Following conversation with your line manager, this will see more of us return to more normal ways of working in the coming weeks and months, although things will not be the same as they were before.

Our expectation is that GMRC will open first to colleagues only, it will be a regular workplace for some staff groups and enable preparation for other buildings to reopen. After that museum openings will be phased and I appreciate everyone’s continued patience as we plan to welcome visitors again.

The timescales for this will continue to be led by the government’s guidance on Covid-19 and our own Museums’ and Glasgow Life planning processes.

We will use this page to keep you up to date with the latest service specific information, including any specific government guidance for museums, so you might want to bookmark this page for ease of reference.

If there is something you would like to know please talk to your manager and we will either put a response on this page or make sure the information gets to you and others in the team.

We have just released our Annual Review, it records another incredible year for Glasgow Museums with in excess of 4,085,000 recorded attendances in 2019/20. This underlines once again that Glaswegians love culture, our museums remain the must-see and most-visited attractions in our city.

This year certainly got off to a very different start, but I will forever be in awe at the contribution you have all made in welcoming visitors and then keeping in touch when our buildings have been closed. I look forward to working with you as we prepare to reopen our doors and welcome people again when it’s safe to do so.

Kind regards,

Duncan Dornan