Jersey Heritage regrets to announce a delay to the planned opening of its sites for the start of the new season. The decision has been made as a result of the current situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
The visitor sites were due to open daily from tomorrow (18th) but this date has been delayed to 28 March. Until then, the sites will continue to operate on winter opening hours. This means that Jersey Museum & Art Gallery is open daily; the Maritime Museum is open on Sundays only; and Mont Orgueil is open Friday to Monday. Jersey Archive is open to the public on Tuesdays to Thursdays and the third Saturday of each month. La Hougue Bie, Elizabeth Castle and Hamptonne Country Life Museum remain closed.
Steps have been taken at the sites that are open to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff. An enhanced cleaning regime is in force and hygiene information and advice is available. All business travel has been cancelled and any staff or volunteers with flu-like symptoms have been asked to self-isolate in accordance with Government advice.
Jon Carter, Jersey Heritage’s Chief Executive, explained that the delay to sites opening daily was due to the impact that the latest official advice was having on staff levels. On Friday, the Government of Jersey announced its recommendation for over-65s to practice social distancing. This has resulted in a number of staff and volunteers opting to remain at home.
Jon said: “We wholly support any member of staff or volunteer who wishes to follow the latest official advice about the Coronavirus. The consequence of this is that with only a couple of days to go before the new season starting, we have found ourselves without enough trained staff to open all the sites. This is something we will be addressing over the coming days.
“Advice about the Coronavirus is changing almost daily and because our sites are operated under a contract with the Government, we must act in accordance with official advice. At present, we plan to re-open our sites daily from 28 March but, as with the rest of the Island’s community, we continue to grapple with a changing situation and will continue to closely monitor the latest official advice.”
The latest advice has also had an impact on Jersey Heritage events. Yesterday, it was announced that the Family History Festival, which was due to take place at the Archive this weekend (20th-22nd), has been postponed. It is hoped the Festival will take place later in the year.
The ‘What’s Your Street’s Occupation Story?” talk planned for this Saturday (21st) as part of the Festival has been cancelled.
Jersey Heritage has also taken the decision to cancel the planned Young Archaeologists’ Club meeting this weekend. Club members will be notified directly. The next ‘Meet the Collections’ event, due to take place next Wednesday (25th) has been postponed.