Somerset House, 2016, Image Kevin Meredith

Somerset House Reopens - Covid-19 Visitor Info

Somerset House is now open to the public. As we welcome you back, our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, so we’ve introduced a number of measures across the building to help everyone remain safe while they’re here.

Areas of Somerset House open
  • The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is open daily from 10.00 - 19.00. The fountains are currently switched on. The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court will be operating with strict social distancing measures in place, and we will be managing capacity to ensure visitors can enjoy the fountains safely.
  • South Wing is open daily from 10.00 - 19.00.
  • The River Terrace is open daily from 10.00 - 19.00.
  • New Wing is open daily from 10.00 - 19.00, Gallery 31 located in New Wing is open daily 10.00 - 18.00
  • Our exhibition Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage in the Terrace Rooms is open Tue - Sun 12.00 - 18.00
  • Hej Coffee are open 10.30 - 16.30 daily. Outdoor seating is available in the courtyard.
  • Watch House cafe is open daily 10.00 - 16.00
  • Spring Restauraunt will be open Tue-Sat, 17.30 - 20.30 from Thu 10 Sep. They are also running a pop-up in the courtyard for takeaway only, Thu-Sun, 12.00 - 18.00.
Do I need to book?

Please check individual exhibition or event pages for booking information.

You do not need to book to visit our courtyard including courtyard installations or cafes.

On-site facilities
  • Toilet facilities will be available in the South Wing. These toilets are self-contained cubicles and will be accessible via a one-way system to and from the toilets
  • We will be operating cashless payments only across the site
Site access
  • Members of the public can enter Somerset House via the Strand and New Wing entrances, 10.00 - 19.00
  • The Terrace Rooms, Hej Coffee and toilets are accessible via Seamen’s Hall in the South Wing
Safety precautions we have implemented
  • We’re following the official Working Safely during Covid-19 Government guidance to make sure the whole building is Covid secure for staff and visitors
  • Visitors will be reminded to respect social distancing with signage across site
  • Our staff may remind visitors about social distancing where necessary. We ask all visitors to be respectful of our staff and other visitors
  • Hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities will be available throughout the courtyard and building
  • A one-way system will be in operation in interior areas of the site, including Leila Alaoui exhibition, Hej café and toilets to enable social distancing
  • We have removed all interactive touch points and we kindly ask you not to touch any displays within the exhibition
  • We have introduced PPE to staff in some of the closer proximity positions
  • Regular additional cleaning will take place throughout the building

Other Questions

Do I need to wear a face mask?

Visitors to the Seamen's Hall, New Wing, Leila Alaoui exhibition, Gallery 31, Hej Coffee and Somerset House Shop are now required to wear a face covering while indoors.

Face coverings are not mandatory in outdoor areas.

Will you check my temperature as I enter the Gallery?

We will not check your temperature upon entering the building, although if you suspect that you may have a temperature, we ask that you delay your visit until it is safe to do so. If you become unwell during your visit, we ask you to alert a member of staff.

When I visit, will I need to register with the track and trace app from the NHS?

If we are required to contact visitors in the event of an outbreak of Covid-19, we will contact you using the contact details from your booking, and you will be responsible for contacting other members of your party.

An NHS QR Code will be posted for exhibitions and other activities on site for visiors to scan with their mobile devices using the NHS COVID-19 app, but not required for access to the courtyard. 

We will follow the latest government guidance regarding use of the NHS COVID-19 app.

What do I do if I'm feeling unwell?

If you feel unwell or have any Covid-19 symptoms please stay at home. You may be refused entry if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

If you’ve got any questions or concerns, email

The NHS COVID-19 app can be downloaded below