COVID-19 FAQs


How are you making the Centre safe to reopen?

We’re closely following government and industry best practices to ensure that we meet COVID-Secure certification when we reopen and our team are working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for October.

We will be operating a reduced capacity within the venue 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 will continue to remind our visitors of best hand washing and sanitising practices.

We will also be asking visitors to maintain social distancing from other groups, including in the Planetarium and live science shows, and we will be following the government recommendations on increased and frequent cleaning practices.

We can’t wait to welcome you back and as we get closer to our opening date we will be able to provide more detailed information about how we can all work together to make Winchester Science Centre an inspirational, educational and safe day out.


What days will you be open?

We will be open at weekends and during school holidays until further notice. Tickets are currently on sale for dates from Saturday 17 October up to and including Sunday 29 November.


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

We will be 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 will be sold in person on the day, however, subject to availability, it will be 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, will 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 will happen if I miss my 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 will be at the discretion of the staff and based on visitor numbers.


Will there be any changes when I arrive?

To maintain social distancing, we will be 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.


How much time will I be able to spend in the Centre?

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


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 unless they are part of the same household. 


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.


Do I need to wear a face covering and will you be doing temperature checks?

We will not be conducting temperature checks however, in line with current government guidance, face coverings will 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.

We’re closely following government and industry best practices to ensure we meet COVID-Secure certification when we reopen and if this advice changes before 17 October we will update our processes.


Will you have hand sanitising stations around the building?

We will continue to remind our visitors of best hand washing and sanitising practices and will be increasing the amount of hand sanitising stations around the building.

As we get closer to our opening date we will be able to provide more detailed information about how we can all work together to make Winchester Science Centre an inspirational, educational and safe day out.


Will any of the interactive elements of the exhibition be closed?

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


Will the café be open and can we bring a picnic?

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


Will the toilets be open?

Our toilet facilities will be fully open. We will be 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 will be encouraging visitors to use contactless methods of payment, however selected till points will still be able to take cash.


Will the car park operate differently?

Our car park and parking machines will operate as normal. We have ample car parking space to allow visitors to park safely. Payment can be made with card or cash.


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.

If you would like to be kept up to date with all our latest news, please sign up to our newsletter when you book your tickets.