Museums across the country that have been closed since mid-March are gradually beginning to reopen their doors to visitors. Last Friday, four Smithsonian Institution museums opened to the public.
On September 18, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, the Renwick Gallery, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum held in-person visitation for the first time since shuttering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the museums have implemented safety measures to protect visitors. Visitors need to have timed-entry passes to enter the museums, anyone over the age of six must wear a face covering, and groups larger than six people will not be allowed into museums. The museums are also encouraging guests to practice frequent hand washing and to limit the number of personal items they bring with them inside. Cafes and retail shops within the museums will not be open, and many interactive components and seated theaters remain closed.
These museums join three other Smithsonian sites which opened earlier in the summer. In July, the National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center both reopened. The Smithsonian also reopened its gardens in August. The Smithsonian Institution has not announced any additional reopening dates as of this time.