The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House

Reopening Safely

Following the latest easing of government restrictions, Somerset House is fully open to the public. 

Many of our spaces are outdoors, where no face coverings are required.  

However, we kindly request you wear a face covering in indoor spaces (unless exempt), maintain social distancing and consider other visitors and staff as you move around site 

You can find information on opening hours, eating & drinking and our programme of events via these links.

Opening Hours
Eating & Drinking
What's On

Like all public buildings and spaces, Somerset House has a number of security measures in place for the protection of our visitors, residents and staff. These measures include procedures to deal with events should an incident actually happen.


On 19 August works began to switch Aldwych to two-way traffic. Part of Strand outside Somerset House became a pedestrian/cycle zone on 22 August.

On Sunday 22 August, Aldwych re-opened as a two-way road and the Strand is permanently closed to traffic between Surrey Street and Waterloo Bridge.

Buses that previously stopped on Strand will now stop at new locations on Aldwych. Please visit the TfL website for alternative ways to travel.

For more information please visit

Do I need to book?

You do not need to book to visit Somerset House, however many of our events and exhibitions are ticketed so please check the specific event page on our website for further information.

On-site facilities

Toilets are open in the following areas

  • At the south end of the Courtyard (one way
  • system in operation) from 10.00.
  • South Wing Ground Floor adjacent to E10 Café
  • New Wing Ground Floor
  • South Wing Embankment Level
  • East Wing Ground Floor
  • River Terrace from 10.00 till late

We will be operating cashless payments only across the site.
The fountains are currently switched off.

Site access

Members of the public can enter Somerset House via the Strand, Lancaster Place or River Terrace entrances between 08.00 - 23.00

Safety precautions we have implemented

Our staff will be wearing face coverings for their safety and the safety of our visitors.

We kindly request you wear a face covering in indoor spaces (unless exempt), maintain social distancing and consider other visitors and staff as you move around site

If you feel uncomfortable at any point about visitor behaviour, please speak to a member of staff. We ask all visitors to be respectful of our staff and other visitors.

Hand sanitiser is available at all entry points to the building, and we’ve installed hand washing facilities in the Courtyard and River Terrace.

We have removed all interactive touch points and we kindly ask you not to touch any displays exhibitions.

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?

We kindly request you wear a face covering in indoor spaces (unless exempt) 

Face coverings are not mandatory in outdoor areas.

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

An NHS QR Code will be posted for exhibitions and other activities on site for visitors 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