Update for COVID-19
We are now open again and have put in place several measures to safeguard the health of our team and our visitors as far as we can.
The most significant thing we are doing is assessing visitor numbers. We re-opened in August 2020 with 16 as our capacity, reduced from our usual event numbers of 41. Following a review of feedback and staff consultation, we have increased that to 20 for September and October 2020. We anticipate increasing to 24 from November 2020 but this is under constant review.
Further to government guidance issued on 9th September 2020, we can no longer accept individual groups of over 6.
Further to government guidance issued 17th September, we had had to cancel late night events (which start after 10pm) and all other events will be brought earlier to ensure we can close by 10pm. We will do this until 14th October but this remains under constant review. If you have a booking during this period you will be contacted by the team - please bear with us as we work through the events.
Please note that this is subject to regular review, along with whether we are open or closed, depending on government guidance in place at any given time.
We will ask all visitors to follow this guidance during your visit.
- When you arrive at the Observatory, please wait inside your car until a member of staff escorts you to the building.
- You will be split into two groups – one group will start in the main building and one will start in the Gillian Dickinson Astro-Imaging Academy. Please remain in these groups for the duration of the event. You will be guided through the Observatory to minimise contact.
- If you are bringing children, you are responsible for ensuring they remain at a safe distance from other people.
- You will see boxed areas on the floors of some rooms – this is to help you judge separation distance.
- Please ensure you wear a face covering of some kind and take care to maintain an appropriate distance from other people wherever possible.
- Hand sanitiser stations are available throughout the site – please ensure you use these whenever you switch locations.
- As in shops, please do not handle the merchandise – a member of staff will be happy to assist you.
- Card payments would be preferred over cash.
- Once the event is finished, staff will escort you back to your cars in individual groups.
- As with all infectious diseases, please do not attend if you have any symptoms.
- We retain contact details for managing customer orders - please note at this time that we may be asked to participate in NHS track and trace efforts.
Please follow the guidance of the team at all times. In line with our existing terms and conditions, staff have the right to ask visitors to leave if they are not complying with guidance. We want all events at the Observatory to be inspirational and safe for everyone.
Additional measures we have put in place are:
- All staff will have their temperature checked on arrival.
- One member of staff will be in charge of additional cleaning measures throughout the event – door handles, handrails, toilets will be cleaned every 30 minutes.
- Telescope eyepieces and other equipment will be sanitised between guest use.
- A screen has been fitted to the counter in the kitchen area.
- Staff will sanitise hands between each till transaction, including preparing hot drinks and wear a face mask while doing so.
- Surfaces and chairs will be sanitised between each event.
- The staff room will be sanitised once a day.
- All waste will be removed offsite every day
- All fabric items (moon chairs, cushions and blankets) will be stored and not be used.
- Catherine Johns, CEO