Today, New York City entered the fourth and final phase of its reopening plan, but those eager to revisit the city’s many museums will have longer to wait. Citing the sharp uptick in confirmed Covid-19 cases nationwide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that inside activities and cultural attractions, including as theaters, indoor dining, malls, and museums will, remain shuttered for now.
“We’ll continue to monitor that situation, and when the facts change, we will let you know,” Cuomo said during a press conference on Friday, adding that state officials are anticipating a second “man-made wave” of infections as those living in the Western and Southern states travel north.
Monday was the earliest date that any cultural venues in New York City could reopen, though many had had not yet publicly announced reopening dates, with a few exceptions. The Museum of the City of New York had set a reopening date of July 23, with new safety protocols including limited admission. Plexiglass barriers separating cashiers from visitors were also constructed.
After a five-month closure, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced in June that it would reopen on August 29 for five days a week. Admission would be capped at 25 percent of the museum’s capacity, and those admitted would be required to follow social distancing and wear face masks. The Met Cloisters in Washington Heights planned to reopen soon after the flagship location.
“Embedded in our announcement is that it is merely a plan, which of course is still subject to state and city approval—and this week’s public health developments underline exactly why that is the case,” Kenneth Weine, the Met’s chief spokesman, said in a statement to the New York Times.
Other major New York institutions such the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum have yet to announce reopening dates.