Since the start of the UK’s third national lockdown, museums and galleries across the UK were forced to close upon the government’s guidelines for COVID-19 safety.
Now, after being closed during the pandemic, museums in England and Wales reopened yesterday to mark the long-awaited 17 May.
As part of a four-step “roadmap” to lift the lockdown, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared that museums and libraries across the nation can reopen with safety measures such as the 2 meter rule still in place.
“It’s all crazy,” said Rebecca Salter, president of the Royal Academy of Arts, “It really doesn’t make sense.”
“On the 12th of April, all of Piccadilly’s retail will open, but our gates will remain closed; I’m not sure why.”
Museums in Scotland have already reopened as restrictions eased back in April.
Indoor museums in Northern Ireland are closed but will reopen ‘provisionally’ on May 24.
To reopen, every museum and art gallery in the UK will have to follow the Covid-19 safety guidelines to ensure that cases don’t start to rise again.
This entails ensuring that people can explore at a two-meter social distance and visitors are required to wear a face mask.
Reduced booking will be available, and social distancing will be enforced until at least June 21.
As the Covid-19 virus spread, museums were forced to close for the majority of the year, with English institutions closing for several months during the first lockdown.
Some museums reopened in December 2020, but had to close again on December 30th, due to another national lockdown.
By Isabella Linder