Museums opening up again ‘can give mental health boost’

·1-min read

A museums director says he hopes people will get a mental health boost when collections open up to the public again this week.

Measures have been put in place to ensure that from Monday, visitors can safely visit museums which have been shut for months due to the lockdown.

Keith Merrin, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ new director, said ticketing will limit visitor numbers at any time, there will be increased cleaning, and one-way systems will be in place around the attractions.

Coronavirus – Fri May 14, 2021
Preparations are under way at the Great North Museum in Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Speaking at the Great North Museum in Newcastle – home to Big Mike, a replica T Rex skeleton, as well as hundreds of animals and artefacts from around the world – Mr Merrin told the PA news agency: “We’ve tried to make it as safe as possible, not just for our visitors but obviously our staff as well, to make sure that the people can come and they can have a fun time.

“We know that so many people have suffered with their mental health during this period, or felt cooped up, and we also know that visiting museums, interacting with history, interacting with the world around people, really supports their well-being and makes them feel better.

“So what we’re hoping is our visitors will come back, they’ll have a really great time, they’ll recognise that we’ve done as much as we can to keep them safe, and then they’ll really get a boost from coming.”

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