COVID-19 Face Coverings Policy

Updated 27 January 2022

This policy offers staff[1], students and visitors coming to The Courtauld, guidance on wearing face coverings and is effective from Thursday 27 January 2022 and will remain in effect until at least 20 April 2022, or until further guidance is received from the UK Government.


The Courtauld expects, unless exempt, that all staff, students, volunteers, visitors and contractors wear face coverings in all areas of The Courtauld’s premises, unless you are medically exempt or have a reasonable excuse for removing it.


General principles


All staff, students, volunteers, visitors[2] and contractors coming into Courtauld premises are expected to wear a face covering in all spaces regardless of whether social distancing is possible – for example,

  • Reception spaces, corridors, lift lobbies and lifts
  • Common rooms
  • Libraries
  • Teaching spaces i.e. lecture theatres, seminar rooms and conservation studios
  • The Learning Centre
  • Communal areas of Duchy House
  • Plant Rooms and similar such spaces

and where you may come into contact with people you do not regularly interact and meet for example but not limited to reception, library and academic support staff.

  • Everyone will be supported and able to wear a face covering in any space not listed above, and will be supported in making that choice.
  • Visitors to the Gallery are recommended to wear a face-covering but we recognise they may choose not to do so.
  • All workers[3] whilst working in areas that are open to students and the public i.e. our receptions, galleries, Art Café and retail spaces and when coming into close contact with visitors, volunteers and students are expected to wear a face covering.




Whilst we expect that face coverings be worn in our premises, we acknowledge there will be circumstances where exceptions apply, such as but not limited to the following situations:

  • If you are eating and drinking in the Common Room at Vernon Square, the Art Café at Somerset House or in Duchy House communal kitchens.
  • Academic staff, whilst delivering and or during lecturers and seminars may remove their face covering to better support for teaching.
  • Learning staff, whilst delivering activity in the gallery and Learning Centre and Curatorial staff, whilst giving talks in the Gallery may remove their face covering though they must ensure they are socially distanced from the group.
  • Students are expected to wear face coverings while attending lectures except in the event of interacting with the lecturer if and when they are invited to do so and if wearing a face covering makes this difficult.
  • Students are expected to wear face coverings in seminars but may choose not to wear or remove their face covering to better support learning.
  • When working in an office alone.
  • In any of The Courtauld’s outdoor spaces.
  • If wearing a face covering impedes the ability to complete a job or task.
  • If you are a visitor aged 11 or younger
  • If you are working with the Courtauld’s collection.


Additionally, for those who have a non-visible disability which would affect the wearing of a face covering, we are supportive of the use of the Hidden Disabilities’ Sunflower lanyard which, when worn, will let us know that you may need some additional support.   Sunflower lanyards are available at our reception areas.

  • The Courtauld will continue to make available disposable face coverings to all staff, students, volunteers, visitors and contractors. In addition, The Courtauld maintains a stock of KN95/FFP2 masks and will make these available to essential staff if this enhanced type of face covering has been identified in Personal Risk Assessments.


These recommendations are here for everyone’s safety, and to help you make decisions about the best way to protect your health.

[1] Workers means all directly employed staff and indirect employees through security, cleaning, catering, maintenance and agency staff.

[2] Excluding those visiting The Gallery

[3] Ibid