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Preparing to reopen your museum


This guidance contains information, checklists and resources for museums and galleries preparing to reopen their venues following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Peer support through Slack

We have created a Slack workspace called Reopening Conversations. This is a space to support each other during the challenges of reopening.

The Slack workspace is a platform to share information, guidance and resources on reopening that you have found useful and use it as a space to ask questions. We welcome collaboration and discussion.  If you wish to join this shared workspace please email and we will send you an invitation link.

If you have already received an invitation via email you can access the workspace via the link below. 

Go to Reopening Coversations on Slack

MGS Adaption Fund

This fund is designed to support museums with the costs of opening back up in a way that ensures the safety and confidence of staff, volunteers and visitors while restrictions are still in place due to COVID-19. The fund will support costs of essential adaptations, equipment and training. Museums can apply to the fund for up to £7,500 (£10,000 for partnerships) to purchase equipment and training that will enable them to reopen safely and in accordance with restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Applicants must follow government guidelines as they plan to re-open (see below). 

Apply now

Scottish Government guidance for museums, galleries and heritage organisations

The Scottish Government has published detailed guidance for museums, galleries and heritage organisations, outlining good practice for reopening organisations as lockdown restrictions ease. 

The guidance sets out minimum expectations across key areas organisations will need to consider as part of their planning for a restart and ongoing production while minimising the transmission of the virus. They include:

View the guidance for museums in full

Guidance has also been produced by the Scottish Government for the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector. Whilst the guidance for museums, galleries and heritage organisations should be your first source of guidance, there may be areas of cross over. 

VisitScotland have provided more context for this guidance on their website.  

The Scottish Government has updated their Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance, to include the new 'rule of six',  which came into effect in Scotland, 14 September. Refer to the Guidance to find out more. We have provided  a summary below which relates to the museum sector. 

The limit for groups meeting up (indoors and outdoors) is now a maximum of six people (children under 12 exempt) from two different households. 

In terms of visitor attractions, tour guides, or private coach operators, the rule of six with no more than two households still applies, but for clarity, that means there could be, for example, three different ‘sixes’ on a tour or a coach trip, as long as they wear face masks and physical distancing is in place.

A tour guide can still take up to 30 people from a coach, or other method of transport, on a walking tour around a destination - but again, the people must stay in their individual groups that comply with the rule of six people from two households, with physical distancing between them (and any rules in place at the destination). There is no maximum number that can be admitted, all the attraction has to ensure is that they do not exceed their capacity by accepting a large booking and that the group can be managed through the attraction by being split into the smaller component parts.



Reopening Checklist

The Scottish Government have created an operational checklist for museums, galleries and heritage organisations to be used in conjunction with their published guidance pack. 

The checklist is a helpful way for museums to consider the steps they should take as part of their reopening plan and processes. 

Download the operational checklist


Scotland Excel Procurement Contracts

MGS is working with Scotland Excel to enable museums and galleries to take advantage of the procurement contracts that they provide to all 32 local authorities. Available contracts include first aid, janitorial and PPE equipment.

Museums and galleries interested in accessing Scotland Excel procurement contracts can contact the listed suppliers directly, with no minimum order (P&P may apply). For more information contact For more information on Scotland Excel and supplies available visit

We're Good to Go Certification

VisitScotland, in collaboration with VisitEngland, VisitWales and Tourism Northern Ireland have developed a UK wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide confidence for visitors, communities and tourism businesses alike. 

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark mean businesses across all sectors of the tourism industry in Scotland can demonstrate that they're adhering to the respective government and public health guidance, and have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to check they have the required processes and protocols in place.

The scheme is free and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.  

Start a "We're Good to Go" Application



Resources from other organisations

Go Industrial - Reopening resources collated by Industrial Museums Scotland 

Get Tourism Ready - Resources from VisitScotland 

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) - Reopening guidance and checklist  

National Museums Directors Council - Good practice guidelines on reopening museums 

Institute of Conservation (ICON) - Resources regarding conservation 

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) - Returning to the workplace handbook

The Society for Occupational Medicine - Returning to the workplace after COVID-19 Lockdown

The Association for Cultural Enterprises -  COVID-19 Webinar series 

UK Government - Working Safely During Coronavirus 



Related guide

Reopening Marketing Support and Campaign For The Sector

Find out more