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New York City Announces Museums Can Reopen from August 24

After months of closure, the art world in New York seems to be getting back on track.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the museums across New York could reopen from August 24. However, strict guidelines are issued for the museums to adhere to safety standards. This includes 25 % occupancy, face-masks, controlled traffic with timed tickets, and pre-set staggered entry. The museums and cultural institutions in the city were shut since mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic became widespread in the USA.

New York had entered its fourth reopening phase last month. The five boroughs of the city – Bronx, Manhattan, Queen, Brooklyn and Staten Island – were allowed to reopen many offices and institutes. However, theatres and museums were still excluded from the reopening plans. In a statement, the administration said it was collecting data and relying on health experts to decide when it was safe to re-open the art centers.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

So far, few museums have announced re-opening after the Governor’s decision. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) has been closed since March 13. In June, it had announced that it would re-open on August 29 if approved by the state. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and American Museum of Natural History had both announced to re-open on September 9. Many other famous art centers, like the New Museum and Museum of Modern Art, had not announced any reopening plans recently.

However, given the toll the pandemic has taken on the art world, it is expected that most museums would announce or pre-pone their reopening plans after the state’s announcement. Whitney Museum was the first to react to the news and announced it would reopen on September 3.