As most will be aware, the Hovercraft Museum along with all other museums in the U.K. has been shut during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
During this period though, we have been busy with ongoing projects that we have been managing remotely to the Museum, utilizing the latest online technology for meetings, not only within our own team structure but also with outside organisations. This has meant that even though none of our volunteers have been able to attend the Museum for much of the closure period, nor been able to welcome the public on-site, the Museum has been able to sustain since March with no income.
The Government has announced that as from 4th July some leisure facilities and tourist attractions can open, provided they can do so safely.
This is great news, and we are excited at the prospect of being able to welcome the public and our volunteers back on site.
There will be much ongoing work in the meantime though, in order to ensure that the Hovercraft Museum will be a safe place for our volunteers and visitors alike and that we comply with all the Covid-19 regulations set out by the government.
Work has been underway for some weeks now, behind the scenes, updating policies and risk assessments, reviewing working practices and training procedures etc, the purchasing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), sanitizing/cleaning products, signage, screens, safety barriers and much more.
A small but dedicated team of our volunteers has recently begun attending the Museum site in strictly controlled numbers and working independently, carrying out maintenance and cleaning, as well as starting to implement the necessary measures required for reopening.
The Trustees are extremely grateful for all the hard work that has been put in.
Special thanks must be given to Louise and Darren Jenkins and Ken Wheeler, for the very many hours all three have dedicated to the task of ensuring our Museum meets all the necessary requirements. Without all this work, we simply would not have been in a position to be able to reopen.
Our reopening date will be Saturday 25th July, but we will only reopen once we are absolutely satisfied that we are able to meet all the criteria, or in other words, that we are COVID-Secure.
As with all public spaces, there will be changes in and around the Museum’s grounds, its exhibits and in the display hangars. This will include a one-way system set up around the Museum, social distancing reminders and signage around the site, hand sanitizer points, regular cleaning of facilities and touchpoints, controls of numbers of people on-site at any time, contact details of all visitors taken (for Covid-19 contact tracing purposes), and other measures as required.
Our shop/cafe will not open in its usual form for now, although some refreshments will still be available for purchase.
We will be asking our customers to kindly adhere to all the guidelines on site. We will also ask for your patience if having to wait to be served by our staff or to use the toilet facilities etc.
We ask you to please, to not visit the Museum if you are suffering the symptoms of Covid-19, or have been in contact with someone with Covid-19.
Our commitment in return to our customers will be to provide not only our usual warm and friendly welcome, but also to provide an enjoyable and as safe as possible a visitor experience as we can.
Finally, following many enquiries from our friends and supporters with regard to future Hovercraft Museum events and hovercraft rides from the Daedalus slipway, we are in regular contact with cross Solent operator Hovertravel, planning future excursion dates, and we will ensure that as soon as any information is available, we will update our website and Facebook page accordingly with this information.