Museums and galleries in the U.S. except those in cities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, like Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York, have plans of reopening soon. Future visitors though must be prepared to abide by new rules.
Actually, museum administrators are taking note of how supermarkets and other retail outlets handle foot traffic in ensuring safe distancing; especially in areas where people tend to crowd such as in stairs, coat checks and baggage counters.
This suggests plans include placing vinyl stickers on floors that will serve as spots on where visitors must stand when viewing gallery displays. Admission desks will likely be outfitted with clear plastic panels, while masks will be handed out to ensure that all visitors coming in wear them as personal protection.
In addition, some others have plans of removing wall labels, and any info related to a particular exhibit can be accessed by way of a mobile app. At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va., which plans to reopen in July, reopening plans include having a program that can determine the number of people that the museum can handle safely. The Virginia Museum is planning to put the “Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities” exhibit in several rooms.
Why Some Museum Plan to Reopen Even While COVID-19 is Still a Helath Crisis
The general consensus is that unlike theaters and sports stadiums, museum and gallery visitors are not new to being required to carry on in their best behavior. However museums where changes could have more impact are in children museums and galleries with science and history exhibits. Reworking and rethinking of interactive exhibits and high-touch areas will have to be carefully considered.
As reported by the American Alliance of Museums to Congress sometime in March, museums throughout the country are losing as much as $33 million each ever since the Coronavirus lockdown implementation. While many in the rural areas are likely to close if they do not receive federal aid, the larger museums that have had great financial exposure in relation to rent and travel costs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, are also facing fragile financial conditions.