Coronavirus: Harewood House closes

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Harewood House is to fully close to the public to encourage social distancing.

Last Friday the Trust running the stately home said it would keep its grounds open for the public to enjoy the open spaces but on Sunday afternoon it took the decision to close.

Trust Director Jane Marriott said: “In light of rapid developments and communication around COVID-19 and the need to encourage everyone to embrace social distancing, Harewood has taken the difficult decision to fully close its site.

“We are so happy that some of you have been able to join us for our opening weekend of 2020.

“Whilst there is ample space for people to enjoy, it has become increasingly clear that we will find it hard to maintain the Government’s requirement of social distancing, and as the national messaging has moved to asking everyone to stay at home, this is the advice that we want all of our staff, volunteers and our wider community to uphold in order to ensure all our health and wellbeing.”

She added that as a charity, Harewood needs support over the next few months.

“We are sorry for the disappointment to our valued members and visitors.

“Our members will receive an automatic three-month extension to their membership,” added the director.

“This will be under constant review depending on how long we may need to stay closed.

“We ask that members who are due to renew their Membership will continue to support us, if you are in a position to do so.”

All online ticket holders (booked from now until June 1) will be contacted from Monday March 23 and will be offered the opportunity to postpone their visit.

Anyone who cannot visit, are being urged to donate the amount of their ticket to the charity or get a refund.

“Please be assured that we will not rest whilst we are closed and we will bring a slice of Harewood to you during this time,” added Jane.

“As an accredited museum, licensed zoo and award-winning garden, we have an abundance of stories to share across our beautiful collections and landscapes, and this we will be doing through an engaging online programme, on our website and social media.

“A reduced level of staff will be onsite to ensure the care of our collections, including the Birds and farm animals, and we hope to return to full opening as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Please take care of yourselves, thank you for your understanding at this difficult time, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Harewood.”