On Monday, New York City entered Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan. While Phase Four would have originally allowed indoor cultural sites and museums to reopen, the city has decided to delay such indoor activities.
Some museums in the city had announced plans to reopen this week. The Museum of the City of New York planned to allow visitors beginning July 23, and Fotografiska, a photography museum that opened last year, announced a reopening date of July 29. With the new guidelines, these museums must wait until the city is given the clear to begin indoor activities.
In a conference call, Governor Andrew Cuomo did not give details about when museums may be allowed to open. “In New York City as I announced yesterday we’re not going to have any indoor activity in malls or cultural institutions and we’ll continue to monitor that situation and when the facts change we will let you know,” the governor said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also expressed concerns about commencing indoor activities, saying “there can’t be a slippery slope there. Indoor is the challenge and we have to be really tight about it.”
Many New York museums had already planned on delaying reopening until later in the year. The Metropolitan Museum of Art had announced earlier that it would not reopen until August 29. The New York Historical Society will be closed at least until September 11. Many of the city’s cultural institutions have also announced planned precautions to keep visitors safe, including mandating masks, lowered capacity, and hand sanitizer stations.
New York City is the last region of the state to enter Phase Four.