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Fair fa’ your honest, covered face… Robert Burns given his own mask as birthplace museum reopens to the public

© National Trust for Scotland A statue of the poet has been given a face mask as the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
A statue of the poet has been given a face mask as the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

A statue of the national bard has been given its own face covering as the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum prepares to reopen to the public.

The museum and Burns Cottage, owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland, have been closed to visitors since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The attraction, in Alloway, Ayrshire, will now be fully open to the public from Thursday to Monday, including the immersive Burns exhibition, Scots Wa-Hey children’s play area and the café.

The thatched cottage, where Burns was born in 1759 and lived until the age of seven, will also be open to visitors, who can get a glimpse into the Bard’s early life and the inspiration behind his poetry.

Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, extensive conservation work has taken place on the traditional thatched roof of the building.

Support from members and donors has allowed the conservation charity to continue repairs to rotting thatch and torn sections that have weathered centuries of Scottish winters.

Specialist teams have been at work replacing the traditional thatched roof and repairing the walls and chimney too.

Caroline Smith, Operations Manager at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum said: “Our team has been working extremely hard to prepare the museum and cottage for reopening.

“We understand that the threat of the coronavirus is still very real and the safety of our visitors and staff is our absolute priority – we’ve had to make a few changes so that everyone can enjoy Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

“There will be hand sanitiser stations at various points and we ask that people maintain a social distance at all times. There also will be limited seating in the café, which will be offering a reduced menu.

“Due to the size of the rooms inside the cottage, only one person or family group are allowed in a room at one time. Visitors will be asked to wait until the room in front of them clears before entering.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors back and telling the fascinating stories of Scotland’s National Bard.

“Thanks to the generous donations we’ve received, we’ve been able to bring in specialists to maintain the original construction of the cottage and make sure that it’s there for generations to enjoy.”