Smithsonian Museums Change Mask Policy Due to Delta Variant

On Thursday July 29th, the Smithsonian Institute announced that it would reverse its policy on face masks. Now, all visitors to Smithsonian Museums over the age of two are required to wear masks.

Previously, the Smithsonian had exempted vaccinated people from its mask mandate. Vaccinated guests to Smithsonian Museums were allowed to enter unmasked beginning June 28th. The latest change in the Smithsonian’s policy aligns with requirements throughout Washington DC. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a city-wide requirement that all people wear masks indoors on the same day as the Smithsonian’s announcement. This change also follows the most recent guidelines from the CDC which recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates.

According to a press release from the Smithsonian, fully vaccinated guests will not be required to wear masks in outdoor areas at the National Zoo and the Smithsonian’s outdoor gardens. They may also remove their masks while in designated eating or drinking areas.