TWO of Lyme Regis’ biggest attractions – the museum and Marine Theatre – have taken the decision to temporarily close amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice to avoid social contact and public gatherings, both attractions have taken the decision to close doors in the interest of public health and safety.
Lyme Regis Museum will close today (Wednesday) and said it hopes to re-open in early summer.
A statement on the museum’s social media said: “We are disappointed to have to delay welcoming visitors to the museum building, but the most important thing for us is to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff.
“We currently expect to reopen in the early summer and until then we will continue our work behind the scenes to promote education and interest in the geology of the Jurassic Coast, Lyme’s fascinating history and unique literary connections.
“We will continue to produce content for our website and social media platforms that creates new activity and connects people with our work and collections.
“Please sign up to our emails on our website and check our social media channels so we can keep you up to date with what’s going on. Thank you for your ongoing support, patience and understanding at this challenging time. We look forward to welcoming you back in due course.”
The Marine Theatre will also temporarily close with all events until the end of April to be rescheduled where possible
A statement on the theatre’s website said: “The Marine is awaiting further advice from authorities for events before setting a date to reopen.
“Ticket-holders will be notified of changes by phone or email as soon as possible – it is not necessary to contact the theatre and we appreciate your patience at this difficult time.
“We look forward to welcoming you back to the Marine once the situation is safer. In the meantime we would like to say thank you for your understanding and wish you and your families well.”
If a performance at the Marine Theatre is rescheduled, the ticket will be valid for the new date and ticket-holders do not need to contact the theatre to arrange this.
If ticket-holders are not available on the new date or if an event is cancelled, refunds are available by contacting the vendor from where tickets were purchased.
The Marine’s statement added: “COVID-19 is a challenge for everyone. The Marine is a charity with 80% of our funding coming from ticket sales, so if you feel you can, please consider forfeiting your refund as a donation to us at this difficult time.”
Several other local events have been cancelled due to the epidemic, including Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, and businesses have started reaching out to customers in new ways, including launching takeaway and delivery services.
Lifeboat station closed to visitors
Lyme Regis lifeboat station has been closed to the public in line with the recommended ‘social distancing’ measures.
Nick Marks, Lyme’s volunteer lifeboat operations manager, said: “In order to protect our volunteers as much as possible from coronavirus infection Lyme Regis lifeboat station has closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. The RNLI shop on the Cobb has also closed.
“Lifeboat training has been reduced to the bare minimum needed to sustain our ability to deliver a lifesaving service.
“The lifeboat crew will continue to respond to service calls as and when required.”