SALISBURY Cathedral has reopened its doors to visitors.

The cathedral team have been busy over the last few weeks making preparations and implementing social distancing. It reopens to visitors from today (July 8) after holding a trial opening yesterday to put the new measures to the test.

Jane Morgan, the director of development and communications at the cathedral who has been overseeing re-opening planning, said: “It is so brilliant to be able to welcome visitors.”

The cathedral has also achieved the Visit Britain Good to Go Mark, which means systems are in place and risk assessments have been carried out to ensure the safety of those visiting.

The visitor entrance, which was also the exit, has been altered with a one-way route which will take visitors out through the works yard, which is an area often unseen by most visitors.

There will be hand sanitiser and the cathedral team will wear PPE.

Jane says the cathedral has also taken the opportunity to look at how it tells the story of the cathedral. Visitors would normally be greeted by guides but instead the story of the building and its history will be told at various points around the cathedral.

This year mark’s the 800th anniversary of the cathedral moving to its current site from Old Sarum.

She says the closure of the building due to the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the cathedral in “all sorts of ways” not just financially but the cathedral is “already seeing people coming back” for private prayer and has had interest from travel companies for July and August.

She says people are still able to experience “the full beauty of Salisbury Cathedral", adding: “We have a really big open space both inside and out where people can be secure and have a really relaxed visit,” adds Jane, who says everything has been done to ensure visitors are safe.

As part of the changes visitors will also need to book in advance online via the cathedral’s website

Visitors to the cathedral can now enjoy the exhibition, 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour, which was closed to the public days before it was due to open. During the lockdown people have been able to enjoy some of the artwork on display outside and could view the exhibition online.

Jacquiline Creswell, the cathedral’s visual arts adviser and exhibition curator, said: “I cannot find the words to express to you how happy it makes me because the exhibition is for our visitors and even more so for the people of Salisbury.

"It is a celebration of the people who came together in the spirit of faith which achieved something extraordinary in the building of Salisbury Cathedral and the city of Salisbury.

"It is a wonderful feeling to be able to share it with them now.”

The virtual version of the exhibition has attracted almost 15,000 visitors. This is still available on the cathedral website as well as the virtual tour of the cathedral.

Visitors can also see a collection of 20th and 2st century art work.

800 years of Spirit and Endeavour will be in place until the end of summer 2021.