Steam to reopen as national lockdown ends

By Barrie Hudson - 1 December 2020

CommunityAttractions

Swindon's Museum of the Great Western Railway will reopen tomorrow - Wednesday, 2 December.

  • Covid guidelines will be in force at the museum

    Covid guidelines will be in force at the museum

The Swindon Borough Council-owned Steam will be open as normal, and all visitors and season ticket holders will need to book online in advance through www.steam-museum.org.uk

The website also contains information to help people plan their visit.

As Swindon has been classed as a Tier 2 - High Alert - area, people can only visit Steam with members of their household or support bubble, in line with Government guidance. 

Visitors will also not be able to mix with people outside of their household or support bubble while inside the museum and must respect social distancing measures.

Hand sanitiser will be available throughout the museum, and a one-way system will be in place. As per Government guidelines, visitors will need to wear a face covering unless exempt. 

Enhanced cleaning will also take place each day at the Grade II listed building.

Swindon’s five core libraries - Central, West Swindon, North Swindon, Highworth and Park Library - will also reopen.

A Click, Call and Collect service will be available for books - and for retail items at Central Library - and members of the public can pre-book computers. 

The Quick Choice browsing service is again available in the five main libraries. The library service will also offer its normal book returns and reservations collection service, the Home Library service will return and the Local Studies team will continue to provide its email support service via localstudies@swindon.gov.uk

Further details about the library services, including details on services across Swindon’s community libraries is available through the ‘COVID-19 Reopening libraries' page at: www.swindon.gov.uk/libraries

Couples looking to tie the knot during the festive season have also been given some early Christmas cheer with the news that wedding and civil partnerships will resume, subject to Government guidance.

Coun David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We have managed to keep the vast majority of our services running for our residents throughout the pandemic including our refuse collections and the support we provide to the most vulnerable members of our community.

“However, as with the first national lockdown, it was not possible to keep some of our venues open over the last few weeks as we joined the national effort to get our infection rates down.

“I’m therefore really pleased, as we come out of this latest phase of national restrictions, we are now able to reopen Steam and our core libraries, not to mention the Register Office for any festive wedding or civil partnerships.

“Although I am sure this will bring relief to some, we need to ensure we keep our guard up against the virus as we begin life adhering to the new Tier 2 restrictions. 

"It is absolutely crucial we keep ourselves and our families safe this Christmas to ensure we do not overwhelm our NHS and the Great Western Hospital this winter.”

Further information on council services can be found at www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

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