Hushed corridors, awe-inspiring artworks, relics from ancient history, pausing to read descriptions of unfathomable objects, mugs decorated with your favourite masterpiece, the sound of a tour guide’s voice – these are just a few of the things we miss most about visiting museums. But as countries lift their lockdown measures, the prospect of returning to your favourite museums draws ever nearer. And when you can visit again, you’ll want to know what safety measures museums are putting in place.
In May 2020, we conducted a survey to find out what your concerns are around safety and hygiene in museums. 54% of respondents said they felt museums should be responsible for crowd control and enforcing social distancing measures, and 80% of respondents said they felt museums should communicate their safety measures on their website. We heard you, and so did museums! The new safety measures being implemented at museums make it possible for you to visit safely and confidently.
10 Safety measures at museums that mean you can start leaving the house for your culture fix!
1. Let’s not get physical: contactless entrance
Contactless entry was already a feature at a lot of museums and attractions. But now, even more venues are getting onboard with the trend as it limits contact between staff and contact. With Tiqets, you can book to visit thousands of venues online and enjoy contactless entrance.
2. No, really, let’s not get physical: contactless payments
Don’t forget to bring your debit card! A lot of museums are encouraging contactless payments throughout their venue, from the ticket stalls to the gift shop. Don’t be surprised if your cold, hard and potentially virus-ridden cash doesn’t cut it. Museums are also nixing the interactive parts of their exhibit to limit touch points and encourage visitors to maintain their social distance.
3. Skip the crowds: capacity management
To make sure that everyone can follow social distance rules while in their venues, museums are following strict capacity guidelines. Having a little extra space inside museums is a great opportunity to finally be able to get up close and personal with some artworks, or to stroll through the corridors without getting smushed up against the person in front you in a rush to the crowd favourites.
4. Have you made a reservation? Online booking only
To help with capacity management and contactless entrance, many museums will only sell their tickets through online reservation systems, like Tiqets. In most cases, you’ll be able to book tickets in advance for a specific time slot and not have to worry about crowded rooms or arriving on the day only to find out there’s no more space for you.
5. Don’t come on an empty stomach: no food or beverage services
To limit crowding in small spaces and contact with museum staff, most venues will likely keep their cafes and food and beverage options closed. All the more reason to support the nearby local restaurant after your visit!
6. Step away from the staff: limiting face-to-face contact
Museums have a responsibility to protect both their guests and their staff to the best of their abilities, so expect a lot more self-service options. For example, coat check will be self-service and you’ll be able to walk up to a machine scanner to enter. You’ll also likely become very familiar with plexiglass dividers at various check-in counters and cash registers.
7. This way please: one-way routing
To stop people bumping into each other and to limit people having to move closer together to allow someone else past, a lot of museums have plans to create specific routes through their venues. A set route can also maximise the flow of traffic and assist with maintaining social distancing.
8. Keeping it clean: more hygiene measures
Most museums plan to up the ante on their cleaning protocols. They’ll also probably provide hand sanitisation stations throughout their venues so you can scrub up frequently during your visit without depleting your own resources.
Want to know what hygiene and safety measures a venue has before you book your visit? With Tiqets you can see what safety measures a venue has when you’re booking online. This way you can decide in advance if you’re comfortable with the measures in place.
9. Layer up: face masks and gloves
Some museums may ask you to wear masks and gloves, and some won’t. Other museums may even provide face masks and gloves for your visit. Of course, if you feel more comfortable donning your own face mask and gloves, that’s fine too. You might even be able to buy a face mask with your favourite artwork printed on it from the museum gift shop!
10. Special times call for special hours: dedicated hours for certain visitors
If you’re someone who may be considered particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to your age or pre-existing health issues, museums have safety measures in place for you too. Industry professionals predict that some museums will create special visiting hours for certain members of the community.
While COVID-19 seems to be very much under control in many parts of the world, this pandemic isn’t over yet. But that shouldn’t stop us from finding more ways to culture, especially when museums and attractions have come up with so many ways to make our next visit safe.