To support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Manx National Heritage, the national heritage agency for the Isle of Man, has today announced a number of decisions in relation to the operation of the Island’s heritage sites.
MNH has tried to operate its services as normal in the current circumstances but it is very clear that this pandemic is a major health emergency worldwide and the health of the Manx community has to be our first priority.
We are following closely all the advice from the Isle of Man Government Public Health team. We have also had feedback from the Department for Enterprise – our sponsoring department and we participated in a review session at the Palace Hotel alongside many colleagues from the tourism sector sharing their experiences.
We also now have a better understanding of how many MNH staff and visitors have underlying health issues or fall into the “vulnerable” category. We have also considered the challenges of maintaining high standards of cleaning and hygiene in our heritage sites and other premises.
In the light of these various factors we have made some fundamental decisions to protect the public and our staff.
- Manx Museum and House of Manannan will close at 5pm on Friday 20th March to the general public and for the foreseeable future.
- We have postponed seasonal site (Castle Rushen, Rushen Abbey, Old House of Keys, Old Grammar School, Nautical Museum, Grove Museum, Laxey Wheel, Cregneash, Peel Castle) openings from 1st April 2020 initially until 1 June 2020 – but will review the situation on a regular basis based on the risk to public health.
- Rushen Abbey will no longer open to the public at weekends in March.
- We have postponed or cancelled all our public programmes also until 1st June 2020.
- We are talking to our commercial tenants about the impact the situation is having on their businesses.
- We are working with our holiday accommodation and event providers to inform those impacted. Where possible bookings are being deferred at no cost to later in the year.
- We are contacting off-island travel operators who have booked with us to inform them of the Government’s decisions.
- We have cancelled educational workshops for schools where we cannot guarantee enhanced levels of hygiene.
Further information will be available on our website and social media feeds
Editor’s Notes: About Manx National Heritage
Manx National Heritage is responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s natural and cultural heritage. It is an Isle of Man registered charity and looks after some of the Island’s most special places, spaces, archives and museum collections, making these available to a worldwide audience.