History museum

Natural History Museum closes for week due to ‘staff shortage’ linked to Covid

The Natural History Museum is forced to close its doors for a week due to “staff shortages” linked to the coronavirus.

The South Kensington tourist attraction had to make the “difficult decision” to close from Tuesday after reception staff were “affected by Covid-19 infections and isolation requirements”.

In a statement, the museum said: “We will remain closed to the public until the reopening on Tuesday, December 28, when we hope that numbers have recovered.

“The rink at the Natural History Museum will continue to operate as planned, as it is managed and staffed by outside contractors who are currently able to continue the operation.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but the safety of staff and visitors should always come first.”

Refunds will be issued for tickets to the Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder Of Nature and Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, featuring Laurent Ballesta’s winning submission for his “enigmatic image” of Fakarava, French Polynesia.

A series of shows have also had to cancel performances due to the increase in coronavirus cases.

The West End performance of Disney’s The Lion King will be closed from Tuesday due to “continued Covid-imposed absences” among the cast and crew.

A statement on Twitter said: “Unfortunately, the Disney Lion King performances in London which are scheduled to take place between Tuesday, December 21 and Sunday, December 26 can no longer be performed as scheduled.

“We hope to resume performances on Tuesday December 28 at 7:30 pm and will provide more information as soon as possible.

“On behalf of everyone at Disney’s The Lion King, we apologize for the disappointment and for any inconvenience this may cause.”

A series of London-based theatrical performances have been canceled since last week due to ‘forced absences by Covid’.

The Cabaret At The Kit Kat Club performances, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley and performed at the Playhouse Theater in the West End, were canceled last week and further cancellations were announced on December 20.

The Book of Mormon also canceled a week of broadcasts following an “exponential” increase in positive Covid cases among their London cast and team.

On Instagram, the producers announced, “We had to make the decision to cancel all performances of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theater until Monday, December 27th.

“This means that all performances scheduled between Monday, December 20 and Thursday, December 23 are now canceled.

“Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience caused. Please check back for further updates regarding performances scheduled for December 27th. “