Visitors to the Book of Kells will be required to wear a face mask from today, and will be refused entry to the exhibition if they do not comply.
Face coverings are now mandatory in shops and indoor public places in Ireland, and failure to wear one can result in a fine of up to €2,500 or face six months’ imprisonment.
Speaking to The University Times, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union president Eoin Hand said that the introduction of mandatory mask wearing for tourists is “important”.
“The introduction of face masks is essential going forward”, Hand said. “It’s just one of those things that we as a country are going to have to get used to.”
“I know that for certain people they will have medical reasons where they may have to be exempt from wearing face masks and that kind of consideration will be made as well”, he added.
College last week said that international tourists visiting the Book of Kells will be told that they must self-isolate for two weeks before entering campus, but will not be required to prove that they have followed this guideline.
In an email statement to The University Times, Thomas Deane, a Trinity media relations officer, said that the exhibition will be open “in a strictly controlled manner that abides by all prevailing COVID-19-related safety guidelines”.
“Visitors must book in advance (there are no walk-up tickets available) and entry is on a timed basis at a maximum of 25 people per half-hour. After booking, visitors receive information that will help ensure they are aware of all safety protocols, which include that no toilet facilities are available and that the rest of campus is not accessible”, he said.
“Visitors will enter through the Nassau St entrance, follow a one-way system around Fellows Square, and then exit through Nassau St, with campus security monitoring the system to ensure visitors do not access other areas of campus.”
The University Times yesterday reported that some PhD students were avoiding the library over fears of contracting the coronavirus, because the majority of students were not wearing masks.
College confirmed to this newspaper today that all students will now be required to wear face coverings while studying in the library