Museum Would Require All Visitors Over Age 2 To Wear Masks, Maintain Social Distancing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The American Museum of Natural History is planning to reopen in September.

The museum said if it got the necessary approvals, it would open to the public on Sept. 9, and to members a week earlier on Sept. 2.

The dates are pending approval from New York State and the city, which have not officially given a green light for museums to reopen.

Cultural institutions like the museum had been initially scheduled to reopen in the second half of July, but that was put off by the state with no new date set over concerns that opening indoor spaces like those would lead to a surge in coronavirus cases.

In May, the museum announced a wave of layoffs and furloughs to account for reduced attendance and operating hours.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

If allowed to open, the museum said it would be open five days, from Wednesday to Sunday, instead of the seven it had been before the pandemic forced a shut down in mid-March.

The plan calls for capacity to be capped at 25%. There would be a fixed ticket price for people coming outside of the Tri-State Area, and a pay-what-you-wish system for residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. There would also be timed ticket reservations.

The museum would require all visitors over the age of 2 to wear masks, and maintain social distancing. The theaters and certain exhibit halls would be closed, as would amenities like food service and coat check.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also announced tentative reopening plans for August 29, if officials allow.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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