COVID-19 Information (British Museum)
- The information in this section was taken in December 2020.
- All entry is ticketed (for both the free permanent collection and the paid for exhibitions). For more information, please see the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below).
- Currently only selected galleries are open. However, galleries are re-opening all the time. For up to date information on the galleries that are open, please check the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below).
- There are external queuing points.
- The external queuing points are clearly marked/signed.
- There are separate doors for entering and exiting.
- Entry is via Great Russell Street and the exit is via Montague Place.
- There is a member of staff available at the entrance.
- There is hand sanitiser available at the entrance.
- The hand sanitisers are free standing.
- The height of the hand sanitiser is 91cm.
- Hand sanitisers are available inside the venue.
- The details here are for the hand sanitiser just inside the Security Check Area entrance (shown in photograph 3). There are hand sanitisers located just inside the main entrance, which are 121 cm high? (photograph 4). There are hand sanitisers located throughout the museum at an average of 120 cm high (photographs 5 - 8).
- There is a limited number of people allowed inside.
- There is a Track and Trace system in place.
- There is a one-way system throughout.
- The one-way system is clearly marked/signed.
- The one-way route is marked via arrows on the floor (photographs 9 - 11) and some free standing signs (photographs 12 - 13). There are also wall-mounted plans showing the route through the museum located in the Great Court. This is also available to view on the website. please see the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below). In some areas, it may be necessary for visitors who need to use the lifts to go against the direction of the one-way system. If you are unsure what to do, please speak to a member of the Museum staff. Visitors who want to cut short the tour through the one-way system should speak to a member of the Museum staff to ask about accessing the nearest cut through point.
- There is clear signage inside to help with social distancing.
- There are marks on the floor around some exhibits indicating where visitors can stand and maintain social distancing whilst viewing the exhibit (shown in photograph 14).
- There are protective clear screens located at desks/counters.
- Not all of the staircases in the museum are open at the moment, and those that are in use are either used to go up or down, depending on where they are in the one-way system. Please check the map on the website or steak to a member of the Museum staff if unsure.
- Not all of the lifts in the museum are operational at the moment, and those that are in use are either used to go up or down, depending on where they are in the one-way system. Please check the map on the website or steak to a member of the Museum staff if unsure.
- Toilets are available.
- The accessible toilets are located in the Great Court, on level 0 and also on level 3. Some other toilets may become available in the future. Please ask a member of the Museum staff for directions to the nearest accessible toilet if you are unsure.
- The standard toilets are located down the steps from the Great Court. Only a limited number of visitors can access the toilets at one time, so it may be necessary to queue outside the toilet and wait to be called by the Museum staff member located at the entrance (photograph 15).
- The following areas are currently closed; the cloakrooms, the Information desk, the Audio Guide and Multimedia Guide desk and the 'Hands On' desks. There are also o live events or tours taking place at the Museum.
- A large print guide of the one-way route, is available to download from the Museum's Accessible Resources page. There are also links there to Soundcloud, to access audio descriptive guides, and YouTube, to access BSL guides. There are also signs around the Museum which QR Codes that can be used to download audio guides or other useful information (shown in photograph 16).
- Wheelchairs are available for visitors to borrow free of charge, but need to be booked in advance. Please see the Museum's Accessibility Around The Museum page for more information on how to book. The wheelchairs are collected just inside the main entrance (photograph 17) and need to be left next to the exit (photograph 18), so they can be cleaned before being used again. A limited number of folding stall are also to borrow, which are collected and dropped off in the same locations as the wheelchairs.
- For more information about the measures in place for Covid-19 please click here (new tab) .
- The Africa Gallery is home to the Museum's collection of over 200,000 African items encompasses archaeological and contemporary material from across the continent.
The Africa Gallery is located on Level -2 below The Great Court. There is step free access via the Great Court east or west lifts.
- For the Main Building AccessAble Access Guide please click here (new tab).
- For the The Great Court AccessAble Access Guide please click here (new tab).
Getting Help and Assistance
- There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.
- There is a member of staff trained in British Sign Language.
- The alternative formats documents can be provided in include; Braille on request, large print on request, different languages on request and audio on request.
- There is an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/nearby.
- The assistance dog toilet or toileting area is located in Russell Square Park.
- Water bowls for assistance dogs are available.
- There are mobility aids available.
- The mobility aids available include wheelchairs.
- To obtain mobility aids please contact the museum in advance by emailing [email protected] or speak to a member of staff at either entrance foyer.
- There are portable resting stools available to use when going around the museum.
They are located on the ground floor in Rooms 6, 17 and 24 and on Level 3 in the South Stairs/Lift Lobby and next to the East Stairs landing.
- There is a BSL Handset Guide of the museum available, which can be collected from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court.
There is a Large Print copy of the Audio Guide available.
There are free maps of the museum available, please speak to a member of staff.
There is a large print map of the museum available.
There are ear defenders available for visitors.
- There is a/are step(s) located at the centre of room 24.
- The step(s) is/are used to access The Africa Gallery.
- There is/are 15+ step(s).
- The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
- The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
- The height of the step(s) is/are 16cm.
- The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
- There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
- The handrail(s) is/are on both sides of the step(s).
- Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
- Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
- Handrails are easy to grip.
- Handrails do extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
- The lighting levels at the step(s) are good.
Lift (Great Court East Lift)
- There is a lift for public use.
- The lift is located to the right of the central reading room as you enter the Great Court from the Great Russell Street entrance.
- Signs indicating the location of the lift are not available from the entrance.
- The lift is approximately 60m (65yd 1ft) from the Great Russell Street entrance.
- The lift is a standard lift.
- A member of staff does not need to be notified for use of the lift.
- The floors which are accessible by this lift are -2, -1, 0, 1 and 3.
- Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on lift lobby landings.
- There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
- Lift doors do contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
- The external controls for the lift are within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
- The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is poor.
- The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is poor.
- The clear door width is 90cm (2ft 11in).
- The dimensions of the lift are 170cm x 130cm (5ft 7in x 4ft 3in).
- There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
- There is a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
- There is a list of floor services available within the lift.
- The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
- The lift does have an audible announcer.
- The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
- There is a hearing loop system.
- The lift does not have Braille markings.
- The lift does have tactile markings.
- The lighting levels in the lift are low.
- There is a/are similar lift(s) available.
- There is a separate exit from the lift on level 1.
- There is a similar lift on the west side of the Great Court.
- The lift gives direct between the Great Court and the Great Court Restaurant on level 3.
- The nearest accessible toilet(s) is/are located in the Great Court.
Attraction / Exhibit (Level -2 : Room 25)
Entrance / Opening
- There is a lift with an opening door width of 75cm+ for access to this area/attraction.
- The entrance/opening is clearly signed.
- The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
- There is step-free access at this entrance/opening, via lift.
Attraction / Exhibit
- There is level access throughout this area.
- Clear directional signage is provided in this area.
- The type of flooring in this area is wood.
- There is flooring which is shiny and could cause issues with glare or look slippery to some people.
- Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in information board format.
- Some exhibits can be audio described.
- Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
- Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
- There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
- There is bench seating available.
- There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
- The lighting levels in this area are low to moderate.
- Visitors exit via a lift.
- The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located in the Great Court.