College begins next phase of reopening today

Services in the Buttery are to resume, as well as tours for visitors

Today, College has begun the next phase of its reopening, following its closure on March 12 to try prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

While Trinity has been closed since March, it began its phased reopening of the Library from June 29, with limited spaces opening in the Ussher  complex opening for researchers. 

Today, the Library began its fifth stage of reopening, with the Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives departments opening a joint Research Collections reading room as part of the resumption. 

The John Stearne Medical Library at St James Hospital also opens today, and joins the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton Libraries, which reopened on 20 July. 

The John Stearne will operate from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 – 16:00. The other contemporary libraries are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 – 17:00. With social distancing of 2 metres enforced, there are approximately 700 spaces across the contemporary libraries instead of the previous 3000 spaces.

As the research collections in the libraries reopen, the Old Library, the Book of Kells and Long Room exhibitions are also reopening today for visitors who have pre booked tickets only.

These ticket holders are given a “timed ticket” entry, and are not permitted on campus at any other time. 

College has developed safety precautions for tourists who visit the exhibition from today. These include no walk up ticket purchases and a maximum of 25 people per half hour.

Visitors will also be “advised” in their booking confirmation and pre arrival emails about safety protocols, including that the wider campus is not accessible to visitors and that there will be no toilet facilities.

Visitors are required to scan their tickets at Nassau St. entrance, and are to follow a one way anti-clockwise route around Fellows’ Square to the entrance of the Old Library south side entrance door.

According to college officials, campus guards will be monitoring Fellows’ Square to ensure visitors exit through Nassau St and do not wander on campus.

Currently, 153 people have booked to visit next week, 24 have booked so far for the following week.

College officials also claimed that they will not be “marketing to international visitors”. Instead, they will be directing “all soft marketing” to a domestic audience, in the interest of safety.

College did not say whether they would be requesting proof of quarantine or self isolation from isolated visitors visiting the exhibitions. 

The Buttery also resumes a limited service from today, providing a “variety of takeaway options”  to the researchers who have permission to be on campus, members of staff preparing for the reopening of college, and students who are revising for exams or who need to complete dissertations. 

The restaurant will be open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 2pm.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.