Social distancing and safety | JORVIK Viking Centre

Explore the Jorvik Group


In this section

Your safety and comfort is our top priority

We have made sure that all our visitors can enjoy a safe visit, while still experiencing everything that JORVIK has to offer.


We have new procedures for social distancing, hygiene, and visitor interaction. Read on to learn about how your visit will be affected.

We're Good to Go

We've been awarded the Covid-19 Industry Standard certification by Visit England. The award recognises that we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and ensured processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing, giving you extra peace of mind that we are 'Good to Go' now we have re-opened.

Please note that these safety procedures may change according to government guidance and as the situation progresses.

Please note that from 8th August 2020, face coverings are required inside all of the JORVIK group attractions in line with government guidelines.

Jump to:

Visitor numbers
Before you visit
When you arrive – outside JORVIK
When you go inside

Watch this video to discover the safety measures in JORVIK

Visitor numbers

We are restricting the number of people in JORVIK at any given time, including staff, to make sure that each group (household/family/friends) can remain at least 2 metres from the next group at all times.

To help us manage this, we have extended our opening hours and all visitors must pre-book their tickets for a given timeslot.

This means that there will only be a short queue – so it’s a great opportunity to experience JORVIK while it’s quiet!

York will be under Tier 2 measures from Saturday 17th October 2020, meaning that we cannot have mixed household groups. If you are planning to visit with others from a different household who are not in your support bubble, you must make separate bookings and maintain social distancing while visiting us.

Before you visit

Pre-book your tickets online or by calling 01904 615505. Don’t forget to buy your guidebook and souvenir Viking coin in advance too – this option will pop up when you buy your tickets.

Please don’t bring any large bags to JORVIK (maximum size is 38cm x 30cm). This is for both security reasons and to help us socially distance groups within the attraction. We don’t have any bag storage facilities at JORVIK, but we recommend using Yorbag on High Petergate.

Please note that from 8th August 2020, face coverings are required inside all of the JORVIK group attractions in line with government guidelines.


We are proud of our accessibility provision at JORVIK, and we want to make sure we continue to offer an excellent experience for all visitors with additional needs. In fact, we recently won the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award at the Visit York Awards.

We have always asked wheelchair users to book in advance, because we are only able to accommodate one wheelchair user at a time in the attraction for fire safety reasons. If you or someone in your party will be visiting in a wheelchair, please do call in advance to book your timeslot on 01904 615505 (our phone lines are currently exceptionally busy, so thank you for your patience). This will help us make sure we can safely distance your group from others during your visit. You will be assisted by a staff member during your visit, who will be wearing PPE.

We also intend to have specific timeslots set aside for visitors with additional needs, probably towards the end of opening hours each day. We will add more details about these when we can.

You can find out more about our other accessibility provisions here.

When you arrive – outside JORVIK

We ask visitors to arrive just on time for their timeslot, to reduce the amount of time they are waiting in the queue.

We have two queues. In both, visitors will be asked to remain 2 metres from the next group at all times. This will be clearly stated on signposts, and with stickers on the ground. Our friendly staff will be available to assist and answer questions.

The first queue is for visitors who have pre-booked their tickets. It runs down the outside of the JORVIK Viking Centre building, and along the passage between JORVIK and St Mary’s Church, allowing visitors to stay away from other pedestrians in the Coppergate Centre. Visitors in this queue will be gradually admitted to JORVIK at their timeslot, retaining social distancing at all times.

The second queue is a ‘standby queue’ for visitors who have not pre-booked their tickets. It is on the other side of the street, by Patisserie Valerie. Visitors in this queue can go to the website to check available timeslots, book tickets and then join the first queue, or wait for any last minute cancellations. We are not able to guarantee entry to visitors who wait for cancellations, and we strongly recommend that all visitors pre-book their tickets.

If you are able to take a timeslot that was cancelled at the last minute, we will be able to take payment by card or cash but we urge you to pay by card to reduce cash handling.


When you go inside

There is a one-way flow for visitors inside JORVIK Viking Centre.


Hand-gel dispensers are available throughout JORVIK and all visitors should feel free to use them whenever they need to. The only surfaces you might need to touch in JORVIK are the handrails and a single touch on the touchscreen on our ride experience time capsules, and there is hand-gel available when you get on and when you get off the ride (see below for other safety policies for the ride experience).

In our toilets, we have installed touchless taps.

Staff in PPE (personal protective equipment)

It might be unusual to see a Viking in a face mask and gloves, but the safety of our staff and guests will be paramount. Staff members who will be closer to visitors will be wearing PPE.


JORVIK has a full air conditioning system which continuously feeds fresh air (not recycled air) into the attraction.

Hygiene policy

We have a full hygiene policy that will be strictly followed by all staff to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness throughout the attraction.

The entire attraction underwent deep-cleaning and a ‘fogging’ procedure before re-opening, which involves a water-based spray that sanitises all surfaces. Our time capsules on the ride experience will have this process repeated weekly. The rest of the attraction is thoroughly cleaned daily.

Face coverings

Please note that from 8th August 2020, face coverings are required inside all of the JORVIK group attractions in line with government guidelines.

Admissions area

If you have pre-booked your tickets, you will likely be able to immediately start your JORVIK experience.

If you need to interact with the staff member on the admissions desk, they will call you forward. There is a high plastic screen between you and the staff member, with a small gap at the bottom through which items can be passed. Please do ask the admissions staff member if you have any queries or concerns – they are there to help!

As you enter, a thermal camera will detect if any visitor has a raised temperature. The camera will be monitored by the staff member on the admissions desk, who will call you over if required.

Downstairs to Discover Coppergate

You will be asked to queue down one flight of stairs, with 2 metres between you and the next group. This will be clearly marked with floor stickers. A lift is also available.

The queue will progress down to the first area of JORVIK – Discover Coppergate. Here, a Viking staff member will ask you to stand around the edges of the room at 2 metre intervals from other groups. The Viking will deliver a talk about the amazing archaeological investigation that uncovered the city of Jorvik.

You will then wait to embark on our ride experience.

The JORVIK ride experience

Each visitor group will be invited onto a time capsule. The handrails, touch screens and seats of these capsules are cleaned between every use by our team. Different visitor groups will be put on separate time capsules.

Staff members wearing PPE will need to move the handrail when you get on and get off the ride, but will remain as far as possible from you, and will be regularly hand-sanitising.

You may need to touch the handrail when you get on and off the ride, and you may choose to use the touch screen to choose the language option for the ride experience (one touch). Hand-gel will be available when you get on and when you get off the ride.

The time capsules will take you around a reconstruction of Viking-age York. The capsules remain 2 metres from each other at all times.

Artefact galleries

When you disembark the ride experience, you will enter our artefact galleries. Footprint stickers on the floor will show where you can safely stand to remain socially distanced from other groups.

During your walk around the galleries, Viking staff will tell you about many fascinating aspects of Norse life and culture, drawing your attention to the remarkable finds you will see in the artefact cases. They will deliver these talks from a safe distance at all times.

Gift shop

After the artefact galleries, you will exit JORVIK via our gift shop. Visitor numbers in the shop will be restricted, for a safe browsing experience. Visitors will be asked to listen to guidance from staff members for when they can enter the shop, asked not to touch items unless they intend to buy, and encouraged to exit as soon as they have finished browsing.  It is mandatory to wear face coverings in our gift shop.

Our staff will be ready to help

Throughout your JORVIK experience, you will meet several of our friendly staff. All our staff will be trained to uphold our safety procedures and will be happy to answer any questions or note any suggestions you have.

We will ask all visitors to be considerate of each other and of our staff.

If you have any queries in advance of your visit, please do not hesitate to email us on