Greenwich's iconic Cutty Sark has officially announced its return and will reopen for the first time since lockdown on July 20.

Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) said following the announcement from the Government on June 23 relaxing lockdown restrictions, the famous tea clipper will reopen to the public with a new array of safety and socially distanced measures.

RMG also say they plan on reopening its other sites, the National Maritime Museum, Queen's House and Royal Observatory Greenwich, in a phased approach over the summer.

Cutty Sark, which turned 150 last year, is the world's last-surviving tea clipper, launched from Dumbarton in Scotland in 1869.

Once carrying cargo ranging from the finest teas to gunpowder, from whisky to buffalo horns, Cutty Sark made her name as the fastest ship of her era during her time in the wool trade, reaching the record-breaking speed of 17 ½ knots (20 mph/32kmph) between London and Sydney.

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As part of the reopening a number of restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

Tickets must now be bought in advance, giving you pre-booked time slots to ensure visits are spread throughout the day and sites don't exceed capacity.

As with most shops and venues, a one-way system will be in place "to ensure the story of the ship and her crew can be told in a safe way," and protective screens in the ticket hall and gift shop are being installed.

Sanitiser stations will be available throughout the site, but some interactive elements of the museum won't be accessible due to Covid-19.

Initially café’s will not be open, but toilet facilities will be available to visitors, with enhanced cleaning regimes in line with government guidance.

Paddy Rodgers, the director of Royal Museums Greenwich, said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome visitors back to Cutty Sark from 20 July and look forward to our sites gradually reopening over the summer.

"Royal Museums Greenwich are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all visitors and staff."

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