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The National Trust plans to reopen UK sites with a new pre-booking policy

A ‘phased and gradual’ reopening will begin from today

Written by
Alexandra Sims

It’s been seven long weeks since the National Trust closed its properties, parks and gardens to the public. But, for anyone missing their fix of picturesque greenery and opulent stately homes there’s some good news on the horizon. From today (Wednesday May 13), the National Trust says it will be ‘working on plans to reopen’.  

Following the prime minister’s announcement on Sunday that people could now take unlimited exercise outdoors and drive to other destinations, the National Trust has said it will ‘start opening some car parks in England, in line with government advice, so that people can access fresh air, open space and nature.’

While its pay-for-entry sites, including houses and gardens, remain closed at the moment, the trust says that when government guidance allows for its sites to reopen it will ‘introduce a pre-booking system’ in order to maintain social distancing. 

On its FAQs page, the trust says: ‘In order to keep people safe, and in line with government guidance, visits to our places will be very different initially. We are planning to partially open, but visitors will need to pre-book via an online system. This isn’t open yet, but it will be when we are ready to take bookings.’ 

No more details about the booking system have been revealed, including which sites it will apply to. The trust says: ‘All opening decisions will be guided by local judgement. It’s important that we avoid hotspots developing for the safety of visitors and local communities, and we may not open places where this is too great a risk.’  It adds: ‘Any reopening will need to be phased and gradual.’

If you’re longing to get up close with nature, while keeping two metres away from other people, keep an eye on the National Trust’s website for more details about its gradual re-opening. See you in the gift shop.

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