Ipswich Borough Council Leader: Councillor David Ellesmere
Ipswich Borough Council Leader: Councillor David Ellesmere

When the Government first imposed the lockdown many Council buildings had to shut completely. With the gradual easing of restrictions, we can now start to see them start to emerge from their long hibernation.

On Tuesday, Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion will open their doors to the public again.

It has taken a lot of work to make these buildings “Covid-Secure” so that they are safe to visit and this means that the way we access the Museum and Mansion has had to change.

You now need to book a ticket in advance for a timed entry and entry to the Mansion is via the courtyard at the rear of the building.

You can book your visit up to 7 days in advance either online or by calling 01473 433100 between 9.30am – 5.30pm (Monday – Friday).

Once inside, there are new one-way systems in place with plenty of arrows and signage to help show you the way and we have installed hand sanitising stations throughout.

Our staff will be regularly cleaning throughout the day. There will be toilets available and the shops will be open but both with reduced capacity.

Due to social distancing and safety guidelines we have removed some seating and interactive displays and some areas of the Museum may be inaccessible.

In accordance with government guidelines, we are asking that all visitors, except those who are exempt, wear face coverings.

Full details are available online at: https://ipswich.cimuseums.org.uk/visitingipswichmuseums/

One bonus is that the ‘Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk’ exhibition at the Mansion has been extended until November. If you didn’t get to see it before lockdown this really is your last chance. It is a fantastic exhibition – even if you’re not a massive Ed fan – and it’s completely free of charge.

Hopefully this gives some idea of the massive amount of work that is required to make even relatively “simple” buildings like the Museum and Mansion “Covid-Secure”.

Sports centres and swimming pools are subject to multiple, and sometimes conflicting, Government guidance which adds a whole extra level of complexity. We’re working on plans for their re-opening but aren’t quite there yet and hope to make further announcements over the next few weeks.

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