Q&As

What is the guidance for owners of conditionally exempt heritage property who are unable to allow public access due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 23/06/2021

The following Private Client Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the guidance for owners of conditionally exempt heritage property who are unable to allow public access due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Heritage property usually open to the public
  • Objects displayed to the public in galleries, museums and other venues
  • Objects available to view by appointment only
  • Advertising, publicity and promotional material

What is the guidance for owners of conditionally exempt heritage property who are unable to allow public access due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government’s guidance relating to social distancing and staying at home, HMRC has confirmed that it is relaxing its rules relating to conditionally exempt property.

Heritage property usually open to the public

Where the owner of a heritage property was not able to open to the public for a sufficient number of days in 2020, HMRC will not consider that the terms of conditional exemption have been broken, even if it means that some of the period covered by the agreement is missed or the property was not open at all in 2020.

HMRC initially indicated that it would expect the property to be open later in 2020 to make up for any lost days, if possible. However, if this was not possible, additional open days in 2021 would not be expected to make up for missed days in 2020.

The guidance was updated in December 2020 to confirm that the terms of conditional exemption would not be considered to have been broken if the owner, while following the relevant public health authority’s social distancing guidance, closed the property or delayed its opening until April 2021, even if this meant that the property was not open at all until

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