COVID-19 Updates: Keeping your visit safe

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11:00am Open for private prayer
3:00pm Private prayer ends

COVID-19 Updates: Keeping your visit safe

Updated 30 November 2020

St Paul’s Cathedral is open for private prayer only, from 11am to 3pm, every day from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December. 

You are welcome to enter the Cathedral to pray and take time for quiet reflection. There will be clergy on site if you need to speak to someone.
Please do not visit the Cathedral if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms. We hope you understand this measure is to keep you and other visitors and staff safe.

Please note: In accordance with the Government's guidelines, upon entry to the Cathedral we will ask you to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 app or to provide your name and contact details for the Test and Trace service. Since 8 August, in accordance with laws in England, face coverings or masks are compulsory in places of worship including the Cathedral shop, unless you have an exemption.

We are following Government and Church of England advice on COVID-19, and will resume sightseeing and services from 3 December.

To keep our visitors and staff safe, we have introduced some changes to your visit:

Party size - In line with current Government advice for London, please only visit with people from within your household or support bubble.

Physical distancing – We ask visitors to keep a 2 metre (6 feet) distance, approx. 4 Cathedral floor tiles, from staff and other visitors outside their household or support bubble.

One way system – There is a one way system in place to allow for physical distancing. Step free access is still available via the South Transept. 

Face coverings– Following Government guidelines, face coverings/masks are legally required in places of worship, including the Cathedral shop, unless you have an exemption. 

Cleaning regime – Our staff are regularly cleaning the visitor areas to keep the Cathedral clean and safe for visitors and staff. 

Hand sanitiser – There are hand sanitiser stations on entry to the Cathedral. Visitors are welcome to use their own hand sanitiser as well. 

Limited numbers – To ensure that every visitor and staff can keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart, we may have to limit the numbers inside the Cathedral at one time. This includes limits on the number of people who can attend our services. Please be aware that there may be a queue to enter the Cathedral.

While we are open for private prayer only, please be mindful that there may be other visitors waiting to enter, and we may have to ask you to leave if there is a queue to enter. 

Security – The safety and security of our staff remains a priority. We urge visitors to not bring bags, wherever possible. Small bags such as handbags or day packs are permissible (maximum permitted dimensions 45cm x 30cm x 25cm including handles, wheels and pockets) and will be subject to bag searching. There are no cloakroom facilities available. 

While we are only open for private prayer only, there is no access to the Dome Galleries or Crypt and photography is not permitted. 
The toilets, café and shop remain closed during this time. 

Ticket holders (5 November - 2 December)

Those who have booked directly with the Cathedral for visits between 5 November and 2 December should please contact us to discuss alternative options, including rescheduling, converting to an annual pass (for no extra cost) or a full refund. Please reply to your confirmation email or contact us on admissions@stpaulscathedral.org.uk including your order number. For customers with bookings made with our sales partners, please contact your point of sale to reschedule or to request a refund.

Preparing for your sightseeing visit in December and 2021

Pre-booking entry tickets - You are still able to pre-book your tickets for the 3 December and beyond. If restrictions prevent you from visiting on your preferred date, you will be given the opportunity to rebook your ticket to a later date or a full refund. 

We recommend you pre-book your tickets online before you visit to guarantee your entry to the Cathedral at your preferred time. Those with an existing valid Annual Pass, Friend of St Paul's membership, open dated ticket or other visit entitlement are able to make a free entry timeslot reservation. If you buy your ticket on the day, please know we only accept card payments for safety reasons. 

Entry timeslots – Sightseeing tickets will have a 30 minute entry timeslot to ensure the safe arrival of visitors to the Cathedral.  

Party size –Please follow Government advice on visiting with your household or your support bubble. Please ensure that the party lead knows the names and contact details of each person they visit with, should this be needed by the Test and Trace service.

Access to Dome Galleries – When we reopen for sightseeing, the Stone Gallery will be open. Due to current physical distancing guidelines, the Golden Gallery is temporarily closed. The Whispering Gallery remains closed to the public until at least January 2021. 

One way route to visit the Dome – Numbers are limited inside the Dome route at any one time to allow safe 2 metre physical distancing. You may be asked to queue to begin your Dome climb. 

Group visits - Group tickets are available again. Group organisers must ensure that they know and keep a record of the name and contact details for each member of their group should this be required for the NHS Test and Trace service.

We will continue to follow government guidance on groups so please do check our website for further information. 

Group organisers must make their group members know that from arrival please respect 2 metre physical distancing (approximately 4 Cathedral floor tiles) between their household and other visitors, including others within their party, and that face coverings are now mandatory in places of worship. Each party must enter the Cathedral separately. We may ask that commercial tour operators provide us with a copy of their COVID-19 risk assessment before visiting.

Guiding (Cathedral guides and external guides )  – We will follow Government advice on guiding in the Cathedral. Please enquire on arrival. 

Multimedia guides – Our included multimedia guides provide a range of tours available in 9 languages. Each device is thoroughly cleaned before and after each use. Headphones are available on site, but you are welcome to bring your own – the handsets are compatible with any headphones with a 3.5mm jack. Alternatively, you are welcome to download our short tour Multimedia Guide app to play on your own Apple or Android device. Available to download for free from Google Play and Apple App Store.

‘We’re Good to go’ industry standard – St Paul’s Cathedral has been awarded the ‘Good to go’ industry standard by Visit Britain. The ‘Good to go’ mark is a nationwide industry standard to show that we are adhering the Government’s COVID-19 reopening guidance from the Government and Public Health England. 

Please do not visit the Cathedral if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms. We hope you understand this measure is to keep you and other visitors and staff safe.

When we are open for sightseeing, the toilets and the shop are open. The café and restaurant are now closed. 

Getting to the Cathedral

We are encouraging visitors to walk or cycle to St Paul’s Cathedral where possible. There are many cycling racks across the City and the Cathedral is situated close to a number of cycle hire schemes. 

If using public transport to visit the Cathedral, please be aware that from 15 June 2020, face coverings must be worn when using public transport in England, including Transport for London services. To plan your journey to St Paul’s Cathedral visit www.tfl.gov.uk.

There is no parking available at the Cathedral, but there are commercial car parking facilities available in the City of London

St Paul’s Cathedral is following Church of England and Government advice on COVID-19.

Welcome Back to the City has plenty of information on planning your visit to the City of London including which attractions are open, places to eat and accessing toilets. 

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