The message came from Minister for London Paul Scully after he went on a whirlwind tour of the city’s biggest attractions with Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston to check on preparations for the big day.
They visited a new gallery at the London Transport Museum exploring the key role of vehicles in the first and second world wars, which will be open for the first time on Monday. And they checked out safety measures including hand sanitiser stations at the Tower of London and temperature testing at the Royal Opera House.Among special adaptations, the Tower’s famous Beefeaters will be switching from offering big group tours to more one-on-one experiences. In all venues, rigorous cleaning and social distancing measures are in place.
Mr Scully said everything was ready for a mass return of culture-starved visitors. “That’s why Monday’s massive step back towards normality will be irreversible, and we can get back to doing the things we love with the people we love,” he told the Standard.
“I encourage Londoners, who have shown such resilience over the past year, to enjoy themselves, to support our iconic attractions and businesses, and to do so safely.”
Mr Huddleston said: “Tourism, leisure and hospitality have faced immense challenges over the past year. The industry’s ability to adapt has never ceased to amaze me and I know businesses are ready and waiting to welcome us back.“
Our great capital, like cities across the country, has so much to offer and I urge everyone to join me in supporting our fantastic tourism industry.”
Alex Beard, CEO of the Royal Opera House, said: “I am delighted that progress remains strong along the Government’s roadmap out of restrictions, so we can go back to doing what we do best: performing the world’s best ballet and opera to audiences at home and around the globe.”