Why has IWM decided to close its branches?

In line with advice from Public Health England and following yesterday’s Government update on the rapid spread of the coronavirus, IWM has taken the decision to close all of our sites in effect from the end of today (Tuesday 17 March) until further notice.

When will you be reopening to the public?

Given the changing nature of this situation, we are unable to predict how long it will be until we can reopen our sites. We will communicate our sites’ reopening via our digital channels.

I have booked tickets for IWM Duxford/HMS Belfast/Churchill War Rooms. Will I be able to get a refund?

If you have booked tickets to visit IWM Duxford, HMS Belfast or Churchill War Rooms, you will either be able to change your booking to an alternative date, choose to donate the cost of your ticket to IWM or request a refund.

You are entitled to receive a full refund, but as well as our government funding, we rely on the income we receive from ticket purchases for our branches and major events to continue to tell the stories of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. We would therefore be grateful if you would consider rebooking or donating the cost of your ticket.

Details of how to rebook, donate your ticket, or receive a refund can be found below.

I would like to donate the cost of my ticket to IWM. How can I do this?

As a charity, we are grateful for the generous donations from our supporters. Donations enable us to care for our vast collections and sites and to tell the stories of people whose lives have been shaped by conflict.

If you would like to donate the cost of your ticket to IWM, please complete the contact form to confirm your kind offer.

I would like to rebook my visit to IWM or IWM activity for an alternative date. How can I do this?

We would be delighted to welcome you to IWM in the future. If you have booked general admission tickets to IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast, please complete the form that can be found here informing us that you have booked a new ticket and would therefore like a refund on your original booking.

For other IWM visits and activities, please email us on one of the below options to let us know that you would like to rebook. The subject line of the email should read: REBOOK [booking reference number].

This will not be a quick process, so please do bear with us while we process your request.

I would like my tickets refunded. How can I request this?

We appreciate that rebooking or donating will not be the best option for everyone and in that case, you need to let us know that you would like your tickets refunded. If you have booked general admission tickets to IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast for dates up to 31 July, please complete the form that can be found here, selecting ‘I would like my tickets refunded’.

For other IWM visits and activities, please email us on one of the below options to let us know that you would like a refund. The subject line of the email should read: REFUND [booking reference number].

This will not be a quick process, so please do bear with us while we process your request.

Are Duxford Air Festival and Flying Legends cancelled? If so, will I be able to get a refund?

In line with the latest advice issued by the Government and Public Health England and the continued uncertainty regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Duxford Air Festival and Flying Legends 2020 have been cancelled. The Battle of Britain commemorative air show is scheduled to take place as planned in September 2020.

If you have booked tickets to either Duxford Air Festival or Flying Legends, you will either be able to choose to book a ticket to the Battle of Britain air show, donate the cost of your ticket to IWM or request a refund.

You are entitled to receive a full refund, but as well as our government funding, we rely on the income we receive from ticket purchases for our branches and major events to continue to tell the stories of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. We would therefore be grateful if you would consider donating the cost of your ticket.

Please complete the form that can be found here to let us know your preferred option. This will not be a quick process, so please do bear with us while we process your request.

I did not book my visit or activity directly through IWM. How can I get a refund for my tickets?

If you did not book through IWM, you need to contact the third party that you booked with and request a refund from them.

Is IWM’s Refugees season cancelled?

We have not cancelled our Refugees season (including all exhibitions, programming and events), which was due to open at IWM London from 2 April and at IWM North from 15 May. We will aim to open the season to the public when our sites reopen.

What are the economic implications for IWM?

IWM is a charity. As well as our government funding, we rely on the income we receive from ticket purchases for our branches and major events, as well as the financial support of our members and donors, to continue to tell the stories of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.

Without the income generated from ticket purchases, it is inevitable that we will become more reliant on philanthropic support and charitable donations

How will the closure affect IWM staff? Will there be staff redundancies?

All contracts issued to IWM staff and external contractors will be honoured. IWM has no plans to make redundancies.

Will IWM be cancelling its upcoming exhibitions and public programming and commercial activities?

All activities planned to take place across IWM sites during this period of closure will not take place.

People over the age of 70 have been deemed as high risk and have been asked to self-isolate. How is IWM looking out for the welfare of veterans and eyewitnesses that support its public programming?

IWM will continue to be in close contact with the many veterans and eyewitnesses of the Second World War, Korean War and other conflicts that support our public programming activities. The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers, including veterans and eyewitnesses, always comes first.

I visited IWM in the last two weeks. Have there been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of IWM’s branches, either members of staff or visitors?

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at IWM amongst IWM staff. We are unaware of any visitors showing symptoms while on a visit to one of our sites or of a visitor showing symptoms since their visit.

Will IWM be providing additional online content for visitors during site closure?

IWM aims to continue to tell the stories of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War through our website and social media platforms.

I have a question about my membership, how do I contact the membership team?

Please email membership@iwm.org.uk with any questions you have and the membership team will be happy to help. 

What will happen to my membership while IWM branches are closed?

We depend on our members’ support to ensure we can continue our vital work at a time when other essential sources of income aren't available. Whilst we are a charity and your financial and moral support is important to us, we do understand that everyone's circumstances are different during this difficult time. Please email membership@iwm.org.uk with any questions you have about your membership and the team will be happy to help.

Your support now as a member is more crucial than ever - thank you for being part of IWM.

I would like to support Imperial War Museums at this time. How do I do that?

Thank you for kindly offering to support IWM – it is very much appreciated. There are a number of ways you do this:

  • If you would like to support us by becoming a member, you can do this easily on our Membership page
  • If you would like to make a donation, please visit our JustGiving page
How do I keep up to date with what’s going on at IWM?

We share fascinating stories from our collections on our website and social media platforms. You can also sign up to receive our enews to keep up to date with everything IWM. Please see the bottom of this page for links to IWM’s Twitter and Facebook pages and to sign up for enews.

I have tried calling IWM but cannot get through. Why is that?

The current situation means that many of our frontline customer service staff are having to work remotely from home and therefore do not have access to our phone system. Please be assured that they are dealing with the enquiries we are receiving either via email or through our Contact Us form. We are currently experiencing a very high volume of enquiries and so it may take us some time to respond to you. We would ask you at this time to bear with us and if you have not received a reply in 28 days, please contact us again in writing.

What online retail services are still available from IWM

Customers can still access our online shop and IWM Prints are processing orders in line with the advice from Public Health England. You will still be able to place orders for online delivery from these outlets; while our museums are shut, our supply chains and distribution network currently remain fully operational. You can visit our online shop webpage for further information about how we are processing online orders during this time.

Is it safe to receive an online delivery?

Public Health England has advised that there is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted from post, packages or parcels, therefore customers receiving goods are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19).

What if I am self isolating or do not wish to come into contact with a delivery driver?

Our couriers will be not be handing over their devices to capture electronic signatures. Drivers will instead log customer details on their behalf when delivered to act as as proof of delivery. Customers therefore will be able to receive their deliveries without coming into contact with the driver.

Are deliveries of parcels running on time?

IWM will continue to send parcels to affected areas. However, attempts to limit the spread of the coronavirus by our couriers could unfortunately result in delivery delays for some of our services to these locations.

How do I return a product if I’m self-isolating?

IWM will extend our returns period for anyone self-isolating as long as the item meets the other terms and conditions of our returns policy.

What does this mean for Freedom of Information requests?

Although we are trying to answer all Data Protection and Freedom of Information requests within the statutory timeframes responses may be delayed significantly as IWM staff are now working remotely with limited access to the IWM network.  Further information on Data Protection and Covid-19 can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website 

My question isn’t answered here. How can I find the answer to my question?

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question here, please submit your enquiry here through our Contact Us form and will get back to you as soon as we can.