On April 27th, Texas governor gave the go ahead for restrictions put in place because of the Coronavirus Crisis to start to be lifted with all retail stores, restaurants, movie theatres, malls and museums permitted to reopen on Friday, May 1st.
Restrictions still remain with museums instructed to limit visitors 25% of their usual capacity.
But museums in the State have been quick to announce that they won’t yet reopen. Dallas Museum of Art made a statement on Twitter, “We are aware of the inclusion of museums in the state’s Phase 1 plan to re-open. With the health and safety of our visitors and staff as our top priority, we will not open on May 1. We will confirm a re-opening timeline as soon as we can do so with the proper measures in place.”
While the Nasher Sculpture Center said, “While the Governor of Texas has listed museums among those entities permitted to participate in Phase 1 reopening, the Nasher Sculpture Center will hold off reopening, with the health and safety of staff and visitors as our highest priority.”
Other museums across the State have also confirmed that they’re not yet ready to reopen.
All museums are required to shutter “interactive” components like child play areas and immersive, touchable exhibitions. This is especially problematic for science and children’s museums.
The reopening of museums has further hurdles with front of house staff and volunteers concerned about the health risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus through contact with visitors. Even if museum management wish to reopen the doors, there is no guarantee that their staff will support the decision.
In March, staff at the Louvre in Paris forced the museums closure over such health concerns.