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Visitor safety measures

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We’ve put a number of measures in place to help keep our staff and visitors safe including physical distancing measures, additional cleaning regimes, limiting touch points and closing parts of the cathedral. See below for full details.

We’re good to go!

We’ve been given the Visit England industry standard and consumer mark to reassure you that York Minster adheres to Government and public health guidance ahead of your visit.

Opening times

The Minster will be open for sightseeing seven days a week, Monday to Thursday from 11am – 4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm), Friday to Saturday 10am – 4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm) and on Sundays from 12.30pm – 2.30pm (last entry 2.30pm).

We do need to close from time to time, so please check our Plan Your Visit page for the latest information.

What can I see?

The main floor of the Minster is open with a one-way system in place to help you safely explore the space. This includes the Nave, South Transept, Quire, Lady Chapel, East End and Chapter House.

Due to a major, once-a-century refurbishment taking place to our Grand Organ, access to the North Transept is limited. The Chapter House is open, but will only be accessible from Dean’s Park if you are visiting Monday to Friday.

Please note, we are currently keeping our Undercroft Museum and Central Tower closed.  In line with government guidance, we are not running guided tours.

Buying tickets

All tickets must be bought online in advance and you must choose a 30 minute booking slot during which to arrive. The time slots start at:

Monday to Thursday: 11am, 11.30am, 12noon, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm

Friday to Saturday: 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12noon, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2.pm, 2.30pm and 3pm

Sunday: 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm

Tickets can be purchased up to 15 minutes before the start of an hourly slot. Once inside, there is no limit on the time you can stay. Please note, we currently cannot offer walk-up ticket purchases. You can book tickets here.

If you have a valid Annual Ticket, York Pass or are a resident of York, you will need to book a free arrival time slot and also bring your previous ticket or pass with you. York residents receive free entry to the Minster with a valid York Card.

Tickets for repeat visits or free admission can be booked here or by calling 01904 557200.

Guide books

Guide books will be available and should be purchased online when you buy/reserve your tickets. You will be able to collect these from our welcome staff when you arrive – please just bring along your ticket confirmation email.

How long is my ticket valid for?

General admission tickets are usually valid for 12 months, but we are extending this period to 16 months for tickets purchased between 17 March 2019 and 31 October 2020. This means that you can return to the cathedral for a repeat daytime visit as many times as you like within the 16 months from your original ticket purchase date.

You must retain your ticket and show it at entry and you must still book a free arrival slot online here.

Entry and exit

Entry to the Minster is through the doors at the West End of the cathedral see map below. There will be signage and our welcome staff on hand to ensure people can queue safely and physically distance from people outside of their household/bubble.

Please bring a copy of your ticket along, either as a print out or to show on your phone for our welcome team to check

Exit will be via the Minster Shop or the South Transept.

Please note, from Friday 24 July face coverings must be worn when visiting the Minster Shops, in line with government guidance.

Accessing the Chapter House

If you are visiting Monday to Friday, you will need to exit the cathedral via the South Transept doors and walk around the West End of the Minster and into Dean’s Park to access the Chapter House. This is due to a major, once-a-century refurbishment taking place on the cathedral’s Grand Organ, with works and deliveries on these days, combined with anti-Covid precautions, preventing the usual access to the Chapter House via the North Transept.

Please note the entry from Dean’s Park is not wheelchair accessible – if you need wheelchair access please speak to a member of our welcome staff.

Face coverings

Our staff and clergy will be available to welcome you during your visit wearing face visors or masks.

Following government guidelines, we will require all visitors to wear face coverings during worship or while visiting for sightseeing. Visitors will be asked to bring their own face coverings or visors and will only be given entry to the cathedral if they are wearing them.

You can read the full Church of England guidance about face coverings here.

Physical distancing measures inside

To ensure people can safely physically distance inside the cathedral we are:

  • Limiting the number of people inside the cathedral by reducing our capacity to 25%.
  • Operating a one-way system which is clearly sign posted and facilitated by staff.
  • Reducing seating and spacing our chairs with 2m between rows.
  • Keeping parts of the Minster closed for now, for example the Central Tower.

Hand sanitiser

There are hand sanitiser points for public use at the entry, exit and throughout the cathedral – please do make use of these as you enter and leave the cathedral.

Toilets and baby change

Our toilets and baby change facilities are open. To enable physical distancing for people using the facilities we are operating a one-in, one-out policy, with a physically distanced queue facilitated by our welcome staff. The toilets will be cleaned each hour.

Cleaning

Cleaning protocols are in place to ensure the Minster is cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day. During general visiting times the toilets will be cleaned every hour and staff will be cleaning high contact surfaces around the cathedral regularly throughout the day.

Minster Shops

The Minster Shop and the cathedral’s shop at Minster Gates will both be open during your visit, see our Plan Your Visit page to check opening times.

You will be able to exit the cathedral via the main Minster Shop, and we are limiting the number of people inside the space to allow people to physically distance safely.

Face coverings must be worn when visiting the Minster Shops, in line with government guidance.

All payments will need to be made by card, we are not accepting cash payments.

You can also shop online at www.shop.yorkminster.org.

Donations

Like many organisations, York Minster is now facing a huge financial impact due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We receive no regular income from the Government or Church of England for the maintenance or running of the Minster and rely on the income we generate from those who visit the cathedral.

We are currently not accepting cash donations but we do have contactless donation points in the cathedral’s Nave and you are also able to make donations online as you are purchasing your tickets and via our Donations page HERE

We would appreciate any support you can give us at this time as we work to further our Mission and safeguard the future of the cathedral.

Thank you for your support.

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