Culture Ministry galleries, museums to reopen from Nov. 10

Ministry issues standard operating proceduers

The Union Culture Ministry on Thursday said its museums, galleries and exhibitions, which had been closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would reopen from November 10 in keeping with the Home Ministry’s Unlock 5 guidelines.

The Culture Ministry issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all museums, galleries and permanent and temporary exhibitions. In the document, the Ministry said while its own museums and galleries would reopen from November 10, all other such spaces could be opened as per convenience and rules of States and local administrations.

“Since the festive season is here, it has been decided to reopen all museums, art galleries and exhibitions under the Ministry of Culture with effect from November 10 so that the public can once again enjoy exploring rich cultural heritage of India. In order to allow museums and art galleries to reopen and resume their operations and activities, it is essential that strict precautionary measures are observed by all staff members and visitors to prevent further transmission of COVID-19,” the SOP document stated.

Additional protocols

Museums and galleries in containment zones would not be allowed to open and States could impose additional protocols, it said.

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wearing of masks would be mandatory. The use of audio guides should be suspended unless they can be disinfected after every use and use of touch-based technology should be limited, according to the SOPs. Each gallery should allow batches of 20-25 people at one time, it said. Tickets should be sold using non-cash methods and pre-booking of slots should be started, it said. Temperature screening and contact information of visitors should be taken at the entry points to help in contact tracing in case a COVID-19 case is discovered.

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