In a proactive move to prioritize the health and wellbeing of its team, York Museums Trust has announced a temporary shutdown for a week in early January 2022. This decision affects not only public access to its various sites, including the York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum, and the Yorkshire Museum but also halts all internal operations.

This period of closure comes as a response to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly impacted cultural institutions and charities over the past year and a half. The emergence of the Omicron variant has further heightened these challenges, placing additional pressure on the staff responsible for ensuring the safety of both employees and visitors.

Acknowledging the continued presence of the pandemic into 2022, the Trust has decided to offer its staff an extended break following the holiday season—a time that typically sees a surge in activity. This decision aims to provide employees, many of whom adhere to rotating schedules, with a much-needed respite to recharge before facing the demands of the upcoming year.

Reyahn King, the Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, emphasized that this additional week off is a gesture of gratitude towards the staff’s dedication throughout the pandemic. It will not impact their allocated annual leave. King expressed appreciation for the support from visitors and supporters, noting the critical role of the Trust’s personnel in maintaining the vibrant legacy of York’s art and heritage.

The Trust is committed to the welfare of its staff, encouraging them to use this time to rest and rejuvenate. The goal is for everyone to return to their roles feeling invigorated, ready to welcome visitors and tackle the challenges of the new year with renewed energy.

Operations at York Museums Trust are scheduled to resume normally from Monday, January 10, marking the end of this brief but significant pause.

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