NYC museums begin gradual reopening

Museums in New York City have gradually started reopening after they were closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City reopened to the general public on Thursday, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art also allowed members to enter the same day, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will start allowing all visitors from Saturday and The Met Cloisters will fully reopen on September 12.

Under new regulations, the museums have implemented a series of precautions including temperature checks prior to entering the buildings, the installation of hand sanitizer dispensers, mandating masks, limiting attendance to a quarter of capacity, and closing food courts.

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that museums could reopen as soon as August 24, at 25 per cent capacity and with timed ticketing in place.

Face coverings will be mandatory and museum authorities will be required to control the flow of movement of people.

The American Museum of Natural History plans to reopen to the public on September 9, and the Whitney Museum of American Art on September 3.

New York was once the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, though it has recently witnessed a significant reduction in infection rates and has also been gradually reopening its economy.

Other cultural institutions in the city, including Broadway theatres, the Metropolitan Opera House and New York Philharmonic, have ruled out reopening until at least the end of the year.