Sector reports deep concerns over impact of Omicron wave

Museums Association,
14 January 2022, United Kingdom

Latest tranches of emergency funding will be vital, but museums are hoping for more long-term solutions.

Museums, galleries and heritage organisations have expressed concerns to Museums Journal about the impact of the Omicron wave on their immediate and long-term sustainability.

Coming in the run-up to the crucial Christmas season, the surge of infections triggered by the new variant led to widespread event cancellations, staff shortages and low visitor numbers at many venues.

“In the run-up to Christmas we had so few people coming through the door it was not worth staying open,” one museum professional told us.

Another reported: “The impact of the last couple of years have really taken their toll and it is core collections-care work that is suffering as we focus most of our attention on encouraging visitors back through the door.”

Coupled with soaring inflation and council spending cuts, the year ahead is likely to bring unprecedented financial challenges for many.