Learn how we are keeping staff and visitors safe at the Society.
We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Society and we want you to feel confident and safe when you visit us. On this page we explain how we are keeping staff and visitors COVID-secure based on the latest government and public health guidelines.
The Society has ‘We’re Good to Go’ COVID-19 industry standard accreditation in partnership with The National Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which recognises we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social and physical distancing.
Here are some helpful points to remember when booking to attend an event and planning your visit:
With the exception of visits to our exhibitions, we are unable to accept walk-ins to the building.
All event attendees, including Society Fellows and members, need to book tickets in advance.
Only the rooms used for the event you have booked will be open.
There is a one-way route signposted through the building which is easy to follow.
We ask you to keep a safe distance apart during your visit. Staff will be on hand to guide you.
Please be considerate of other visitors and staff.
Face coverings are required for the protection of yourself and others, unless you’re exempt.
Hand sanitiser is available on arrival. Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly and at regular intervals during your visit.
Each visitor will have a temperature check on arrival. Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms.
We’ve introduced extra cleaning for your protection.
Under the UK government’s NHS Test and Trace scheme we’re required to ask every visitor aged 16 and over to provide their contact details for Test and Trace.
Each event ticket will admit one person. Please bring your ticket confirmation with you and please follow guidance for visiting, including maintaining social distancing between people you do not live with.
Refreshments are not available for purchase on site.
In line with government guidance we are required to keep an accurate temporary record of our visitors for 21 days to assist the NHS Test and Trace service with requests for data if needed for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks. Your personal details will be captured and stored securely during our booking process.
Read our privacy notice
We are retaining social distancing and the requirement to wear a face covering to protect our staff and visitors.
We therefore request that visitors maintain a respectful and appropriate distance when in and around the building, abiding by defined and clearly marked zones of distancing space.
We ask you not to gather or congregate in the Society’s internal public areas when not attending events, particularly at the end of each day.
A cycle of more frequent cleaning will be carried out to ensure highest levels of hygiene in our publicly accessible facilities.
Following a careful review process, involving users and stakeholders in the building as an event space and to allow us to deliver essential services, we have prioritised the safety of our staff and visitors during the period of continued uncertainty linked to the transmission of COVID-19 virus variants.
We want to ensure that as a venue, we are able to continue to deliver services and access. In parallel we must also serve our wider responsibilities as a learned society, charity and membership organisation. Hence, we seek to protect our staff and pre-booked visitors, based on our assessment of the potential risks which larger audiences combined with our unique building footprint pose in the current situation.
We will keep these requirements under review, and should our Trustees be satisfied that the risk posed to staff and visitors has reduced significantly, then we will look to improve access and reduce the safety measures and precautions in place.
Yes, during this time period we are asking all visitors, including Fellows and members, to:
Pre-book a seat at our Monday night lectures
Pre-book an appointment to use the Foyle Reading Room
Pre-book tickets for our events
This is so we can manage the number of people in the Society at any one time and ensure everyone can keep a safe distance.
However, there is no need to pre-book visits to our exhibitions.
No, all tickets and appointments must be pre-booked.
Group visits cannot be accommodated at this time. This is so we can follow social distancing measures safely.
We want to be as accessible and inclusive as possible in everything we do. We have ensured that maximum access and inclusion has been considered at every stage of our plan for reopening to create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who visits.
Yes, there are toilets available for pre-booked visitors using our building, with social distancing measures and extra cleaning regimes in place.
All cloakrooms are currently closed. Please avoid bringing bulky coats and bags to the Society.
To minimise touch points, we are not giving out paper items.
There are no family programmes running at the moment. This is so we can follow social distancing measures safely.
If you or anyone you live with displays symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you have recently been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 please stay at home and delay your visit, where possible we will try to accommodate your visit on a later date.
Please follow the Test and Trace process outlined here: NHS Test and Trace: what to do if you are contacted
We have been working hard throughout lockdown to put in place measures to ensure your safety and that of our colleagues. These include:
one-way routes for those using the Foyle Reading Room by pre-booked appointment or visiting the Exhibition Pavilion
two metre physical distancing with one metre+ distancing where this is not possible
enhanced cleaning regimes
hand sanitiser stations
staff to assist with the flow of visitors, prevent queues and ensure that everyone complies with safety guidelines
distanced seating in the Ondaatje Theatre
additional signage including floor markings and visual reminders of the need for physical distancing
the removal of leaflets, books and other similar shared items to reduce transmission risk, although we will have special provision in our Exhibition Pavilion for those with sight impairment, on request.
additional training for our staff
PPE is provided for our staff as appropriate
comprehensive risk assessments have been carried out
our Exhibition Pavilion, Foyle Reading Room and wider building were deep cleaned prior to reopening
Please respect our staff and other visitors. The restrictions are there to keep everyone safe so please observe social distancing, barriers and use the hand sanitisers that are provided. Visitors accompanied by children are responsible for ensuring the child’s social distancing practices.
Yes, face coverings must be worn in the Society’s building. We are retaining this safety measure as an additional precaution for your safety and that of our staff. All staff, volunteers and contractors will wear face coverings inside the building.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to): young children under the age of 11; not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress. For detailed guidance, please see Government's guidelines on face coverings
By placing a booking, you are permitting us to store and use your (and any other attendees) details in order to fulfil the booking.
We will not use your details for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
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