COVID-19 FAQs


What changes have you made to the Science Centre?

We’re closely following government and industry best practices to ensure that we meet COVID-Secure certification.

We are operating a reduced capacity to help visitors maintain social distancing and all tickets MUST be booked in advance online to include an arrival time slot to limit queues at our entrance. Anyone feeling unwell will be asked not to visit and we continue to remind our visitors of best hand washing and sanitising practices. Hand sanitising stations have been increased around the venue.

Visitors are asked to maintain social distancing from other groups, including in the Planetarium and live science shows. We have floor markers and barriers in certain areas to help maintain social distancing and have introduced a one-way system on our staircases. As per current government guidance all visitors must wear a face covering (with the exception of children under 11 years old and anyone with a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering) and only groups of six or less will be admitted (unless they are from the same household).

We are following government recommendations on increased and frequent cleaning practices. This includes having more staff on the exhibition floor cleaning exhibits more frequently, cleaning products available for visitor use if desired and dedicated staff members monitoring and cleaning the toilets. We have also introduced weekly fogging, a well-stablished non-toxic disinfectant spraying method used in hospitals that is harmless to humans but kills 99.99% of bacteria including the coronavirus family.

We hope that by working together we can all make Winchester Science Centre an inspirational, educational and safe day out.


Do I need to wear a face covering and are you conducting temperature checks?

We are not conducting temperature checks however, in line with current government guidance, face coverings need to be worn by all guests throughout the duration of your visit (with the exception of children under 11 years old and anyone with a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering). Please make sure you bring an appropriate face covering with you.


Can I visit as part of a group?

In line with current government guidance, we cannot allow groups of more than six people to visit us or mix during a visit unless they are part of the same household. 


Do you have hand sanitising stations around the building?

We continue to remind our visitors of best hand washing and sanitising practices and have increased the amount of hand sanitising stations around the building. Hand sanitising stations are prominently located in our welcome area, outside the Planetarium and Science Theatre and close to major touch-points around the exhibition floor.


What cleaning measures have you put in place?

In addition to our routine cleaning processes, we have implemented a series of new measures. These include:

  • more staff on the exhibition floor regularly cleaning exhibits as well as cleaning equipment available to visitors to do this themselves if desired
  • cleaning of the Planetarium and Science Theatre between each show
  • a dedicated staff member monitoring and cleaning toilets
  • closure of our soft play every two hours for cleaning
  • weekly fogging of all the exhibits, this is a well-established disinfectant spraying method that has been used in hospitals and laboratories for many years, it is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-corrosive and while harmless to humans it kills 99.99% of bacteria including the coronavirus family, it is effective for up to three weeks

 


Are any of the interactive elements of the exhibition closed?

The exhibitions are open and still as interactive as ever. However, some exhibits need to be used differently and in these instances we have provided clear instructions explaining how to use them. Please ensure you read these before you have a go.


What changes have you made to your Science Shows and Planetarium?

All Planetarium and live science shows need to be booked in advance and we have reduced the capacity of each show to help visitors maintain social distancing. Visitors are required to wear a face covering throughout their visit, including in the Planetarium and Science Theatre, and there are hand sanitising stations positioned outside the entrance to the show spaces for visitors to use. Visitors are directed where to sit with their groups to maintain social distancing and should avoid moving around during the show. The Science Theatre has a designated entrance and exit and between each show, the Planetarium and Science Theatre will be cleaned.

We have also worked hard to come up with shows that will excite and astound visitors, retaining all the elements that keep visitors coming back for more, but with a twist that allows us to maintain a safe environment for everyone. For example, our staff will be wearing visors and audience participation will happen from your seat.


What happens if someone in my party feels ill on the day?

Please do not visit if you feel unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come into contact with anyone who may have symptoms. Symptoms include a temperature of more than 37.8°C, a new continuous cough, or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Please contact us before setting off and we will be happy to move your booking to an alternative date.


What days are you open?

We are open at weekends and during school holidays until further notice. 


Why do I need to pre-book a ticket and how do I do it?

We are operating a reduced capacity within the venue to help visitors maintain social distancing and all tickets MUST be booked in advance to include an arrival time slot to limit queues at our entrance. No tickets are sold in person on the day, however, subject to availability, it is possible to book tickets online on the day of your visit.

When booking your tickets, please make sure you have decided what additional activities you would like to enjoy, such as any Planetarium or free live science shows, before you begin the booking process. Check out our handy Booking Guide which will help you with our new booking process.

Unfortunately we are unable to take phone bookings at this time.


I have an Annual Pass, do I have to book in advance?

All visitors, including Annual Pass holders, need to pre-book their tickets in advance online so that we can manage our capacity to help visitors maintain social distancing and limit queues at our entrance. Make sure you decide what free live science show and Planetarium experience (Annual Pass holders will still receive 10% off Planetarium shows) you would like to enjoy and then head to our Online Booking page.


What happens if I miss my entry time slot?

Please arrive within your 20 minute time slot, allowing plenty of time to park. If you arrive late, you may be asked to wait. Entry is at the discretion of the staff and based on visitor numbers.


Are there any changes when I arrive?

To maintain social distancing, we are controlling the flow of visitors into the building. You may be required to wait outside until the entrance is clear so please come prepared for the weather. Once inside, please respect social distancing guidelines whilst waiting to be served by one of our welcome team who will greet you from behind a Perspex screen. 


How much time am I able to spend in the Centre?

Once you are in, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like.


Have you introduced a one-way system?

As part of our new visitor experience we have refreshed our welcome area to include a separate entrance and exit door. We have also introduced an entrance and exit into our Science Theatre. We aren’t implementing a one-way system around the Science Centre, other than on the main staircases, however we ask visitors to respect each other and be mindful of social distancing guidelines.


Is the café open and can we bring a picnic?

Our café is open for hot and cold drinks and we are offering a reduced food menu. You are very welcome to bring your own picnic to enjoy. 


Are the toilets open?

Our toilet facilities are fully open, however visitors may be asked to wait before entering during busy periods. We are monitoring and cleaning them regularly throughout the day as well as encouraging visitors to closely follow best hand washing and sanitising practices.


Can I make cash purchases?

To ensure the safety of both our staff and guests we are encouraging visitors to use contactless methods of payment, however selected till points are still able to take cash.


Is the car park operating differently?

Our car park and parking machines are operating as normal. We have ample car parking space to allow visitors to park safely. Payment can be made with card or cash and there are hand sanitising stations nearby for visitor use.


What will you do with my booking details?

In line with government guidance, if requested we will be sharing visitor contact details with NHS Test and Trace in the event of a fellow visitor testing positive for coronavirus.

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