Please read carefully the restrictions and information relating to different categories of visitors, access to on-site facilities and events.

Site Visitors

Pensioner Relatives and Friends

With effect from Tuesday 5th January:

Unfortunately due to Tier 5 status all visits to the Hospital, including families and friends, are completely suspended at this time. We will be reviewing this decision in accordance with government advice. Sadly, this means that there will be no visits allowed. 


The MTI is currently closed to external visitors including families and friends. There is provision for exceptional visits for those at end of life only. Please contact Phil Shannon: 02078815308 if you need further information. 


Currently a very small number of volunteers are present on the site to assist the Activities team with essential tasks. Many of our other volunteers are helping us from home, for which we are very grateful. If any volunteers have any questions they are asked to call the Activities & Volunteer Manager on 02078815311. We are currently not recruiting any new volunteers, although we thank those interested for thinking of us and hope to hear from you at some point in the future.


All tours have been cancelled until further notice. There is currently no specific date as to when we are likely to resume our tours programme. Once we are able to reopen the site to the public, we will offer all cancelled tours priority booking for future dates and will contact you in due course.

If you have already paid a deposit or the full amount for your tour booking, you will be reimbursed in full.

Please contact 020 7881 5237 for further information.


All school bookings have been cancelled until further notice. There is currently no specific date as to when we are likely to resume our education programme. Once we are able to re-open the site to the public, we will offer all schools whose visits were cancelled priority booking for future dates and will contact you in due course.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the implications for your booking further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via 020 7881 5493. 


Please contact Liam Best on 07976400887 if you have any media enquiries at this time. 

Guest Accomodation Bookings

Due to reducing our public access on site, unfortunately all our guest accommodation bookings will be cancelled until further notice.

Four Day Stay Visits for those considering applying for admission

We are open for applications and would welcome hearing from any individual who meets our application criteria. We are keeping in touch with our current applicants so they are kept up to date with what’s happening at the Royal Hospital. Under controlled conditions, we will be allowing some applicants to visit the Royal Hospital as part of the application process. Please contact the Admissions Team on 0207 881 5204 if you have any specific queries.


Plans are pending for suppliers and contractors who are due to visit the site. If they have not already been in touch, please get in touch with your contact at the Royal Hospital to see how site restrictions may affect you.

Business Meetings

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is important that the terms below are followed for the admission of any business visitors to the site:

  1. The default position should be that meetings should be arranged remotely, via conference calls or using video telephone conference applications.
  2. It is accepted that some meetings need to be conducted face to face because they involve physical inspections on site or require discussion of large quantities of drawings or unwieldy documents.
  3. All external visitors will be temperature checked at the gate and will be refused entry if they either refuse or evidence a high temperature.
  4. All visitors must use hand sanitiser, and if possible, wash hands for 20 seconds when they get to the location of their visit before sitting down.
  5. All visitors will be held at the security gate, and then met and escorted to the venue for their visit by a Royal Hospital host.
  6. Visitors who must cross Pensioner occupied areas to access the venue for their visit will be provided with a face mask and must avoid touching surfaces.
  7. Meetings will be held in a socially distanced manner - 2 metres between participants and wearing face masks to reduce the risk of cross infection between outside visitors and our staff.


Founder's Day

The Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE DL, announced on 30th March 2020 that the 2020 annual Founder's Day celebrations would be cancelled. No decision has yet been taken on the 2021 event.

Private Event Bookings

In line with our Force Majeure Event clause in the venue hire contract, the Coronavirus has now constituted a severe enough reason for us to close the site for external events, ensuring we protect Pensioners, staff and residents.

Events are now cancelled until further notice. If you have made a booking with us, please contact the events team on 02078815350 if you require any information.

Friends' and Governor's Circle Events

Our Spring/Summer Friends’ events programme has unfortunately now been cancelled. We hope to reschedule these events in the future.

Site Facilities

Post Office & Gift Shop

Please note that the Post Office and Shop will be closed to the public from Thursday 19th March 2020, until further notice.

Online Shop

We are pleased to note we are now accepting orders again via our Online Shop. Please note due to increased demand and less staff able to fulfill orders, there may be some delays in receiving online orders.


The Chapel is now closed to the public until further notice. This now includes Sunday services.

Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop is now closed to the public until further notice.


The museum is now closed to the public until further notice.

South Grounds

To support our local community’s COVID response, the Hospital will be accommodating a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) on the South Grounds from December 2020 until late March 2021. The unit will be set up in accordance with our current site movement restrictions, COVID protocols and ensure the safety of Pensioners.
Unfortunately, the South Grounds will be closed to the general public, including for dogwalking and general exercise, on days when the MTU is in operation. 

The site MTU is operating on the following dates (February dates TBC):

  • Friday 8 January 
  • Monday 11 January
  • Thurday 14 January
  • Sunday 17 January
  • Wednesday 20 January
  • Saturday 23 January
  • Tuesday 26 January
  • Friday 29 January

On days not listed above, the South Grounds at the Royal Hospital Chelsea are still open to the public for exercise purposes and can be accessed by the Bull Ring Gate (from the Embankment),  in accordance with the latest Government regulations (enforceable by law). There will be no access through this route to the Hospital or Ranelagh Gardens, which will remain closed to the general public.

Central Health Physio

From Friday 20th March, Central Health Physio services will close until further notice..

Tennis Lessons

Tennis lessons at the Royal Hospital have now closed with immediate effect. Please contact Albert for more information on either or 07944 186 743.

Burton Court

The official Government guidelines released on 04 January 2021, state that leisure and sports facilities such as tennis courts must close for this most recent period of national lockdown. We are therefore sorry to confirm that the tennis courts at Burton Court will be closed to all users until at least mid-February 2021, and that any existing bookings have been cancelled.

The cricket practice nets will remain closed for the rest of the winter.

In light of the ability of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus to transmit more easily from person to person, and in order to ensure the continued safety of our members, Staff, and Chelsea Pensioner community, all users of Burton Court are required to wear a face mask when entering and using the facility. All staff on site are also required to do the same.

Face masks may be removed when carrying out physical exercise, such as running or jogging, and must be replaced once the physical exercise is complete. Please note that in this particular case, physical exercise does not include walking or dog walking.

The requirement to wear a mask when in Burton Court will be enforced as of Thursday, 14th January 2021 at 0830hrs.

As a reminder, the Government restrictions state that exercise may be taken under the following conditions:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when you are on your own,
  • with a personal training

Please also be reminded that it is now against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

If any of the above is unclear, please visit the website for further information:

Burton Court is a safe space where members and their households can get some fresh air, take exercise, and walk dogs. In these challenging times we must all to our bit to keep ourselves and one another safe.

The outdoor gym area will remain open and, for those who have registered their personal trainer with the office. Personal training can continue one-on-one unless everyone is in the same household or support bubble.

Finally, please be reminded that the following Burton Court Rules remain in place:

  • Dog walkers are expected to be scrupulous about picking up their dog’s excrement and placing it into the bins provided, ensuring that the bag containing the excrement is tied up.
  • Family ball games are not permitted in Burton Court, except on the football pitch.
  • Picnics are not permitted in Burton Court.

The Chelsea Pensioners continue not to have access to Burton Court and continue to stay within the main Hospital site during this time. This is in accordance with the latest Government regulations. The Pensioners will be taking their exercise within the immediate Hospital Grounds.

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