One of London’s best-loved tourist attractions, Madame Tussauds, is dusting off its waxworks to welcome back visitors from this weekend.
Familiar figures such as the Queen, Harry and Meghan – and mask-clad world leaders Donald Trump and Boris Johnson – could be seen in wax form on Thursday standing in a socially distanced queue outside the venue.
The world-famous wax museum, along with the London Eye and London Dungeon – all shut since 20 March – are due to reopen their doors on Saturday with reduced daily capacities and guests asked to book timeslots online.
The i newsletter cut through the noise
Madame Tussauds London’s general manager, Tim Waters, said that strict social distancing measures would be in place and government guidelines urging people over the age of 11 to wear face coverings would be followed.
Staff to don face masks
“There’ll be temperature checks as they enter as well. And they’ll be able to see our staff who are wearing face masks as well,” Waters added.
The government eased the lockdown on the tourism industry earlier this month, with indoor attractions following theme parks, such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland, in getting at least partially back up and running.
It had been reported that dozens of jobs at Madame Tussauds could be cut following an internal review of the financial cost of coronavirus.
Elsewhere in England, spitfires and hawkers have been sanitised at the Imperial War Museum Duxford ahead of an invasion of visitors and The Brooklands Museum of motoring in Weybridge opened to members on Thursday.
English Heritage has reopened almost all its historical sites and stately homes with any closed venues hoping to reopen in the coming month.
Its website said: “Whether you are a member or not, you need to book in advance and arrive during your selected time slot. Visitor numbers will be limited in order to keep everyone safe and to ensure effective social distancing measures.”
Some of the best-known sites that are already open include Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Dover Castle, Whitby Abbey, Kirkham Priory, Brodsworth Hall and Bolsover Castle, as well as the ever-popular Barnard Castle.