Visiting Museums and Galleries during COVID

09 Sep 2020

by ArtRabbit

To help protect yourself, your fellow visitors as well as museum and gallery staff, follow these guidelines to enjoy art responsibly, wherever COVID-19 is still at large.

Museums and galleries reopen after months of lockdown. If you’re anything like us, you’ve already visited shows aplenty, and as the art world slides into its busy season, you’re ready for even more. But you’ll have noticed that it’s not quite the same experience as it once was. Gallery hopping is more difficult without a planned itinerary, and face coverings coupled with infrared thermometers create a dystopian vision so unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. These new rules might take some adjusting to, but they’re there for good reason. To help protect yourself, your fellow visitors as well as museum and gallery staff, follow these guidelines to enjoy art responsibly, wherever COVID-19 is still at large.

Before your visit

  • Pre-booked slots are now mandatory in most galleries and museums as limitations are put into place on the number of visitors. Be sure to plan ahead and book your time slot (for yourself and guest) or confirm attendance to avoid disappointment by visiting organisation websites.

  • Found an event on ArtRabbit that you’re eager to attend? While we're trying our best to stay on top of all the new opening times, we might not always get it right, and times might change with little notice. Check organisers' websites to make sure events will be open on the day you visit.

  • Help limit the number of people you come into contact with by walking or cycling to events if it’s possible. If you’re travelling by public transport, try and avoid peak times and wear a face covering (which is mandatory in some cities).

  • If you’re feeling unwell at all, and if you’re experiencing any of the signs of the new Coronavirus, stay home! Art can wait, but protecting others and healing yourself cannot.

During your visit

  • Respect designated one-way routes in art spaces and safe distancing guidelines, and stay two metres away from others outside of your household.

  • Be prepared to pay with a card as many venues only accept card or contactless payments to minimise touchpoints.

  • Many galleries and museums now require visitors to wear face coverings when entering their spaces, so be sure to have them handy. This means over both mouth and nose, in case you have any doubt.

  • Hand sanitisers are available in many museums and galleries, which you’re encouraged to use liberally. Whenever soap and water are available to you, you should also be washing hands regularly.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow (not your hands) when sneezing or coughing, although if this is happening frequently you should probably stay home.

After your visit

The last four months have been incredibly challenging for our entire industry. Art spaces, galleries and museums of all sizes face a severely uncertain future. With doors shut for so long, and with a big portion income generated from admissions, hospitality and other activities lost, complete closure was, and still is, a real prospect for many spaces. Times are hard for everyone, but if you are one of the lucky ones or if you can offer financial support, there are a few ways you can do so. Make a donation to your favourite space, become a member or have a cuppa at their coffee shop. Most organisations haven’t been able to secure government bailout funds, so your contribution could be the lifeline of art spaces in your city.

Follow us on ArtRabbitLast reviewed by Vivi on 9 September 2020