Re-opening the Museum

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are some of the galleries closed?

The safety of our staff and visitors is our priority, and we have carried out a risk assessment for all our museums to see how we can operate while adhering to social distancing and hygiene regulations. In some cases (such as with some interactive exhibits) we felt it was not possible to ensure the safety of visitors and staff who might be using them. Therefore we have taken the precaution of excluding some exhibits from the re-opening programme.

We are pleased to reopen our famous Impressionists galleries to the public, which have been closed due to essential maintenance to our roof. 

Other art galleries remain closed for the time-being as the essential maintenance works continue throughout the museum.

As building work completes and hopefully COVID-19 restrictions ease, we will be able to open more galleries. You can, however, explore the art galleries in full online.

We are continuing to review how and what we display in the art galleries to tell the story of Welsh art and art in Wales more creatively and effectively.

Please be aware that the Archaeology collection has now moved to St Fagan’s Museum of History and have been redisplayed to tell the stories of people and makers in Wales through history.

Why do I have to book in advance?

Due to social distancing safety measures, we can allow only a limited number of people into each museum at any one time. To manage this and prevent disappointment, we have introduced a free booking system which will be run online through Eventbrite. There is also a telephone number to call for those who choose not to use online booking. All our museums will remain free.

Food and Drink

  • The café will be open for takeaway teas, coffees and snacks. The restaurant in our lower floor is closed

Are the toilets and baby changing facilities open?

Our toilets and baby changing facilities remain open. We are putting in place an enhanced cleaning regime for such spaces and will limit the number of people who can use such facilities at any one time.

Toilets

Our toilets will be open, and we have put in place an improved hygiene schedule for your safety. For the wellbeing of visitors and staff, we also encourage the use of face coverings.

Can I use the Virtual Reality experience?

Due to the risk to the public and our staff, Mission: Planet Earth, our new Virtual Reality experience has been closed for the time being.

Can I visit the Museum shop?

Yes, the Museum shop is open.

What precautions are you taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Every Museum has undergone a risk assessment in the light of the precautions and social distancing measures that remain in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes restricting the number of visitors on site at any one time, installing personal protective equipment (PPE), extra hygiene facilities and increasing the number of times that toilets and facilities are cleaned every day.

We have new rules on social distancing within our museums and are working to make sure signage to reinforce hygiene and social distancing regulations is highly visible.

What we have put in place to help keep you safe:

  • Our front of house staff have received health and safety training in relation to COVID-19.
  • Visitor safety guidelines are in place on site – please follow them even if you have been vaccinated
  • Social distancing measures are in place on site.
  • Hand sanitising stations are available for visitors and staff.
  • We have further increased our hygiene regime.
  • We will be managing visitor numbers in line with public health and safety guidelines.
  • Some galleries/areas will be temporarily closed where social distancing cannot be implemented.
  • We have set up new routes, such as a one-way system. Please look out for and follow any new signs around the site.
  • Visitors are required to wear face coverings in indoor spaces at our museums, in line with Welsh Government guidelines. We reserve the right to refuse entry to those not wearing a face covering without due cause for example for health and well-being reasons.

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. If you are showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has had the virus in the last 14 days, we request that you don’t visit, as you may be turned away to reduce risks to other visitors and our staff. Why not experience our museums by viewing our online collections until you are feeling better?

When can I book a meeting or event at the Museum?

The safety of our staff and visitors is our priority, and we have carried out a risk assessment for each Museum to see how it can operate while adhering to social distancing and hygiene regulations. At the moment, the guidance from the Government is not to host large gatherings such as weddings or conferences, though this is constantly under review. Please keep an eye on our website where we will be posting updates if the situation changes or email venuehire@museumwales.ac.uk to discuss further. 

When will you be fully open?

We are following the advice of the Welsh Government and we will remain in these measures until they advise us differently, though this could extend for many months.

When will you have events again?

We have developed a programme of online events for the coming months. Our focus will be online until we’re sure that we can safely stage physical events given the social distancing and hygiene regulations.

Why can’t I drop into the Museum like I used to?

Due to social distancing safety measures, we can allow only a limited number of people into each museum at any one time. To manage this and to prevent disappointment we have introduced a booking system. This is the safest way to ensure we can control the visitor numbers.

Why do I have to pay for car parking?

There has been paid for car parking at National Musuem Cardiff, St Fagans National Museum of History and at Big Pit National Coal Museum for many years, and this will continue. We are a charity and every penny we raise from our car parks supports our work with communities across Wales. You do not have to pay for car parking if you display your Blue Badge, but you may have to book a space. You will find details of how to do this when you book your entry ticket on the museum Eventbrite page.

Why do you want me to wear a face covering?

Visitors are required to wear face coverings at our Museums, in line with Welsh Government guidelines and to follow all our safety guidelines while at the museum, even if you have been vaccinated. We reserve the right to refuse entry to those not wearing a face covering without due cause, for example for health and wellbeing reasons, and to those who flout our other safety guidelines.