Following new state-wide COVID-19 guidelines, some New York City museums will open to visitors at fifty percent capacity beginning April 26.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York have all announced that they will be moving to fifty percent capacity. These institutions will require guests to reserve tickets ahead of their visit. Each museum also has other COVID-19 safety protocols in place, such as enhanced cleaning and mask requirements.
Other museums in the city plan to increase capacity more gradually or at a later date. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is still moving towards the previous capacity limit of twenty-five percent. According to The Art Newspaper, a spokesperson for the Whitney Museum of American Art said that the institution is not moving to fifty percent capacity and plans to share an update in the coming weeks. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the New-York Historical Society will also delay opening to fifty percent capacity.
In a press release announcing the new guidelines, Governor Cuomo cited the reduced infection rate and the number of vaccinations being administered as signs that it is safe to increase capacity. “New Yorkers should be encouraged by the incredible progress they have made in reducing the infection rate and getting vaccinated. While we are not yet out of the woods, thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we have been able to safely re-open more facets of our economy. The light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter and we must all remain vigilant and continue to practice the behaviors we know work to stop COVID in its tracks – wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance,” said Governor Cuomo.