Customer Safety –
Covid 19 FAQs

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OM Dark Sky Park & Observatory COVID 19 FAQs

 Q: Do I need to pre-book my visit?

A: The safety of our staff and visitors is our main priority, so we will have to limit the number of visitors at any one time. To help us keep you safe, we highly recommend pre-booking your tickets on our website to guarantee a particular time slot on the date you plan to visit.

A small number of spaces will be available to book on arrival however these will be sold on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and you may be required to wait until there is an available slot. However if you haven’t booked in advance, unfortunately we can’t guarantee your entry. So book ahead for assurance before your visit.

OM Exhibition Guided Tours are available daily Monday to Sunday from 11.20am with the last slot at 5.30pm (6.50pm on Fridays and Saturdays).  For queries related to booking online or general advice about your visit, please contact OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory.

Call 028 8676 0681 or email 

Q: What if I need to change a booking?

A: Tickets booked are non- transferable. However, if you have booked a visit and you or any of your party develop COVID 19 symptoms, we politely ask you not to visit the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory and to contact us to reschedule your booking.

 Q: When should I arrive for my Guided Tour?

A: You should arrive at the Observatory no more than 10 minutes prior to the start time of your booking, as we have reduced capacities within the building to maintain social distancing. Out of consideration for other patrons, latecomers will only be admitted at a suitable point in the tour/event if possible. This policy will be strictly enforced by the Duty Officer and we will appreciate your cooperation.

Q: Do I need to print my booking / ticket?

A: We are able to scan your ticket on entry from a printed ticket or a smartphone or tablet. Proof of booking is required to enter the Exhibition. If you forget your pre-booked tickets, we can check your booking reference but it is likely to delay your visit.

Q: How long will a Guided Tour take?

A: A Guided Tour will take approx. 1 hour and we allow an extra 15 minutes for visitors to revisit the interactive displays at their leisure.

Q: What else can I see and do at the OM Dark Sky Park & Observatory?

A: You may wish to explore Davagh Forest during your visit, or visit the nearby Beaghmore Stone Circles. We also have outdoor picnic tables with a selection of drinks and snacks available to purchase from our Grab n Go Café.

Q: Is the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory taking part in the Test & Trace Programme?

A: Mid Ulster District Council supports the Department of Health’s Test, Trace, Protect strategy for public health in response to Covid-19. The information we hold is held in line with data protection legislation and our privacy policy. Click here to read our privacy policy.

Q: How will you ensure that I can visit safely?

A: The safety and welfare of our staff and visitors is our top priority in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Mid Ulster District Council is committed to following the advice and guidance provided by the government.

To ensure your safety, we have implemented a number of changes to the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory experience:

  • Managing the capacity and the number of people visiting our observatory at any one time to ensure social distancing
  • Providing online booking facility for pre-booking tickets
  • Non-Contact validation of tickets on arrival
  • One-way visitor routes, with separate entrance doors and exit points through the main entrance door and observatory door respectively
  • Fully trained welcome team and visitor guides on site and on hand to answer visitor questions, ensure you are safe and help make your visit as enjoyable an experience as possible.
  • Providing enhanced hygiene and cleaning regimes
  • Use of Perspex screens to protect visitors and staff
  • Providing clear and frequent visitor information signage and floor markings in and around our observatory
  • Providing hand sanitising stations at regular points
  • Managing toilet facilities
  • Contactless payment

Q: Do I have to wear a face covering when I visit the Observatory?

A: In line with government guidelines and public health advice, the wearing of face coverings in shops and public spaces indoors, where social distancing is not possible, is mandatory. Therefore we would encourage visitors to wear a face covering to ensure the safety of themselves, other visitors and our staff.

For further details on the guidelines regarding the wearing of face coverings can be found here.

Q: Do Children need to wear a face covering in the Observatory?

A: Current government guidelines state that children under the age of 13 do not have to wear a face covering.

Q: Will staff at the Observatory be wearing face coverings?

A: We have a number of safety measures in place to protect both our staff and visitors. These include social distancing, hand sanitising stations and Perspex screens. Our staff are not required to wear face coverings unless social distancing cannot be maintained.

However staff may wish to wear face coverings, including a visor or mask, if they choose.

Q: Will you refuse entry to anyone who does not wear a face covering?

A: Admission to our sites can be refused to anyone not wearing a face covering. This will be at the discretion of the Duty Manager.

Q: Is there a storage area available for buggies and personal possessions?

A: No. We do not have storage facilities at the Observatory. Buggies are permitted throughout the building, including the Exhibition area.

Q: Will your toilet facilities be open?

A: Yes. We have public toilets in the Observatory including a Changing Places facility. Please ensure you follow the guidance we have put in place for everyone’s safety when using our toilets. We are asking visitors to keep a safe distance and to keep in mind that several disabilities are hidden when it comes to persons using adapted toilets. Our toilets are cleaned on a regular basis. During your visit we may need to close a toilet facility for a period in order to carry out necessary hygiene checks and essential cleaning. Please respect the important role of our cleaning staff as they carry out their work.

Q: Is the café open?

A: Our Grab & Go café will be open for take-away consumption. Visitors may wish to bring a picnic weather permitted to eat at our seated areas outside, however under current Government guidelines food and drink are not allowed to be consumed inside our facility.

Q: Do you have a Gift Shop?

A: Yes. The Gift Shop will be open to visitors. We ask visitors to use contactless payment where possible and minimise the handling of stock.

Sanitiser is available for use where required and visitors are asked to respect social distancing.

Q: Do you accept contactless payments only now?

A: While contactless payment is advised, we also accept cash payments in GBP Sterling.