Museums and libraries across North Lanarkshire are welcoming back visitors for the first time this year following the move to reduced level-three coronavirus restrictions.
Summerlee industrial museum in Coatbridge and North Lanarkshire heritage centre in Motherwell have both reopened after achieving the tourist industry’s “Good to Go” accreditation confirming they have followed required Covid-19 guidelines including risk assessment, cleaning and social distancing.
Libraries in Airdrie, Coatbridge, Chryston, Cumbernauld, Motherwell and Wishaw have also reopened today, while the home deliver services for readers has also resumed.
Bellshill and Kilsyth libraries will reopen tomorrow, followed by Shotts library on Thursday in the “phased reopening of library service across North Lanarkshire”.
Those attending Summerlee museum are asked to make advance bookings for free admission available during its daily opening hours of 10am to 4pm, with operators Culture NL adding: “If you’ve pre-booked and aren’t able to make it, we’d really appreciate you letting us know so we can release the tickets for someone else to enjoy.”
Visitors can only attend one session per day and must leave the site after its conclusion; face coverings are to be worn in all indoor areas including exhibition spaces, shop and the popular tram attraction and cannot be provided by the museum.
Interactive exhibits are closed “to uphold social distancing and limit visitors’ contact with hard or shared surfaces” and indoor seating has been removed; while the cafe will open next Monday with a limited menu, outdoor seating and cashless payments only.
North Lanarkshire heritage centre has extended its opening hours to Monday to Saturday, 12 noon to 4pm; its archives and local studies reading room are also open but visits must be booked in advance.
Like Summerlee, the free attraction will also have a limit on visitor numbers, requirement for face coverings, distancing and hand sanitising and “suggested routes to keep areas flowing and prevent overcrowding in popular spaces”.
Meanwhile, gyms and swimming pools across North Lanarkshire also reopened today, and a programme of outdoor fitness classes from aerobics and zumba to pilates and yoga has been developed and will be held in the outside spaces at the Airdrie, Broadwood, Ravenscraig, Shotts, Sir Matt Busby and Wishaw facilities.