The British Museum will become the last of the national museums and galleries to reopen to visitors when it opens its doors next week.

The London-based attraction is set to reopen on August 27 after 163 days of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with tickets already sold out for its first day.

New measures have been put in place, such as visitors needing to book a timed slot and follow a one-way system around some of the galleries, while capacity will also be significantly reduced.

In 2019, the museum saw a seven per cent increase in visits to 6.2 million, making it the most visited attraction in the UK.

The news comes as the British Museum revealed it is undergoing one of its biggest dustings ever, with more than 30 staff members called in to help.

Love Culture Week

The UK government has announced an initiative as part of its Enjoy Summer Safely campaign to support cultural organisations across the country as they recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The Love Culture Week, which begins this week, has been designed to encourage people to visit museums, galleries, heritage sites, and cinemas after months of closure, as well as attend socially distanced performances that can now restart in theatres and venues.

Caroline Dinenage, Culture Minister, said: “So many arts and cultural organisations worked incredibly hard to keep us entertained during lockdown, with streamed performances and virtual tours. It has been a challenging time for our cultural sector, and they need us all now more than ever. Summer is the perfect time for people to fall in love with culture again, so I encourage everyone to get out there and visit the wonderful venues and attractions on their doorstep.”

Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, added: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our culture sector in recent months but now we can all play a part in the sector’s recovery.

“Every visit, ticket and tour will help support our cultural places when they need it most. Much-loved venues and attractions have been working hard for months on measures to keep visitors safe, so there has never been a better time to visit the museum you’ve always been meaning to, or rediscover the rich history of heritage sites on your doorstep.”

Image: Ham / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Edited for size