THE Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has closed five Shakespeare family homes and the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon to visitors until further notice.
A full statement from the Trust confirmed the decision, it reads: “In the light of Government measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the five Shakespeare family homes and the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon have closed to visitors until further notice (effective from 17th March 2020).
“The five Shakespeare family homes include Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, Shakespeare’s New Place and Hall’s Croft. They are curated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity which cares for our rich Shakespearian heritage in Stratford-upon-Avon and promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of the playwright’s works, life and times worldwide.
“The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust cafes (Will’s Kitchen, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage cafe, Hall’s Croft cafe, Mary Arden’s Farm cafe) and gift shops are closed. Its online gift shop continues to operate and we will endeavour to fulfil online orders periodically during this time.
“The Shakespeare Centre Reading Room, Library and Archive is also closed to visitors, but still offers public access to information about the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collections on its website, and the team will respond to collections and research-related enquiries via email to email@example.com.
“All events and activities scheduled before 1st June at the Shakespeare family homes and the Shakespeare Centre have been cancelled.
“The Trust has suspended its Stratford-based learning courses for students of all ages, as well as large-scale events for Shakespeare Week – the annual national celebration in primary schools (16th to 22nd March 2020). Core Shakespeare Week activity continues as
planned with 2 million children getting creative with Shakespeare in their schools, libraries and partner organisations across the country.”
Tim Cooke, chief executive at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “We find ourselves, like others, in unprecedented circumstances in which the safety and health of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our number one priority. I am very grateful to all our partners for their understanding and support. We are keeping the situation under close review in line with Government and public health guidance. We look forward to re-opening and welcoming visitors again when it is safe to do so.”
See website and social media channels (@ShakespeareBT) for the latest updates.
For more information on the latest Government advice please see www.gov.uk/coronavirus