This is when cinemas, museums and galleries might be able to reopen in Scotland

By Alex Nelson
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:36 am
Could cinemas look like this one in Prague when they eventually reopen in Scotland? (Photo: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)
Could cinemas look like this one in Prague when they eventually reopen in Scotland? (Photo: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

It’s now been nearly four months since Scotland first entered lockdown to protect itself from the spread of coronavirus.

As restrictions continue to lift at a cautious but steady rate, people are beginning to wonder when they might be able to return to some semblance of ‘normal’.

One major aspect of every day life that’s still heavily restricted under lockdown involves leisure facilities like museums, galleries and cinemas.

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Sure, there have been virtual gallery and museum tours, and some of the biggest movies of recent months have released exclusively on streaming services, but there can be no substitute for getting out and enjoying the real thing.

So just when might residents in Scotland be able to enjoy some of these popular pastimes?

Here's everything you need to know:

When will cinemas, museums and galleries reopen in Scotland?

According to the most recent revision of the Scottish Government’s proposed ‘road map’, cinemas, museums and galleries will not reopen until the country has at least moved into Phase 3 of its route out of lockdown.

So just when might we see Scotland head into its third phase of restriction lifting?

The latest lockdown review was held on Thursday 18 June, after which a number of changes were made to the rules.

The Scottish Government is continuing to hold a review of restrictions every three weeks as a minimum, with the next review expected to take place on Thursday 9 July.

Any changes could then come into force “within days” of this date, providing the country continues to make progress in its handling of the virus outbreak.

However, it’s worth noting that even if the country does go ahead with moving to Phase 3, it may be that not every restriction currently outlined by the Government will be lifted at once.

Each of the phase descriptions “should be viewed as a general description rather than precise definitions of permitted activities,” say the Government.

Will things go back to normal right away?

(Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Even once it is announced that cinemas, galleries and museums can be reopened, it may be a while until the experience of visiting them is quite like it was before Covid-19.

Scotland’s lockdown road map mentions that in Phase 3, these facilities will open “subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures.”

It’s hard to say for certain just what these measures could be, but in England – which is implementing its own rules – some cinema chains have outlined their plans for returning.

Cineworld hope its cinemas will be back in operation by Friday 10 July, but even if those plans do go ahead, it won't quite be business as usual.

Booking systems will be updated to allow friends and family to sit together while ensuring a safe distance between customers from different households, and film times will be staggered to reduce customers cross paths with other customers going in or out of other screens and buildup of crowds in the foyer.

Plastic screens will be installed at concessions areas where safe distancing cannot be maintained, and hand sanitiser stations will be provided for both customers and employees.

As for galleries and museums, it’s likely similar measure will be in place to keep patrons at a safe distance for one another, and these could include reducing the maximum capacity of buildings, and making the wearing of face covering compulsory.