Things Are Opening Up – But For How Long?
Following a change in the Government guidance, things are opening up in Hastings. How long for we are not sure, so enjoy them while you can.
The latest is Hastings Museum & Art Gallery who will be welcoming visitors again from Thursday 27th August, having achieved Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification. The museum will be open each week from Thursday to Sunday 10am-12.30pm and 2-5pm.
The museum’s Good to Go status has been achieved by implementing the usual measures of one-way routes, hand sanitiser stations throughout the museum and extra cleaning routines. Visitors will, of course, have to wear a facemask while in the museum. Re-usable and washable facemasks will be available to buy on entry.
To manage the number of people in the museum, all visitors will need to book a free timed ticket in advance. This can be done online up to 14 days in advance through www.hmag.org.uk or they can book by phone on 01424 451052.
There will be a restricted number of bookable tickets available on Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 5pm to further reduce the numbers of visitors in the museum and create a perfect time for those who are nervous about visiting or fall into the most vulnerable group.
There is a special invitation to the new-look museum from 20th August for Hastings Community Hub workers and those who helped make Hastings Digital Museum a success and got involved with the Covid Journal Project and responded to the Black Lives Matter community call-out. Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, lead cabinet member for Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, explains that this is “in recognition of the many groups that have helped support Hastings through lockdown.”
The museum opening follows on from the opening of Hastings Library on 13th July and Summerfields Leisure Centre and Falaise Fitness Centre on 25th July.
For the library, the reconfigured layout means there are fewer books available to borrow, but a ‘select and collect’ service is in place to allow library members to choose up to 20 books online or by calling the library service, enabling them to be collected quickly and easily from one of the reopened libraries.
A limited number of computers are also available to book for 45-minute sessions. Existing and new library loans will be automatically extended until 30th September and there are no charges or fines during this period.
Newspapers, DVDs, periodicals and the photocopying service will not be available. There will be no access to study space or reference materials and toilet facilities will remain closed.
The fitness centres have rearranged gym equipment and reduced the number of people able to attend classes to accommodate safety measures. A booking system is in place for all activities including lane swimming, and visits are time-limited.
Councillor Maya Evans, lead cabinet member for leisure at Hastings Borough Council, says: ”It’s great that residents can exercise at the sports centre again, but it’s crucial to follow the rules on distancing, sterilising equipment after use and hand washing.”
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