Smithsonian announces reopening dates for 7 museums and the National Zoo

By Alison Main, CNN

    (CNN) -- The Smithsonian Institution announced on Friday that it will reopen seven of its museums and the National Zoo to the public next month, kicking off a phased reopening after it temporarily closed its facilities because of the pandemic.

The National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, will reopen on May 5, followed on May 14 by several more museums and galleries -- the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery.

On May 21, the National Zoo will reopen, along with the National Museum of American History and the Washington location of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Safety measures at Smithsonian locations

All locations will reopen with added health and safety measures, including a face mask requirement for visitors 2 and older, capacity limitations that will be moderated with free timed-entry passes, social distancing measures and hand-sanitizing stations.

All on-site public tours and events will remain suspended. Timed entry passes can be reserved online. Passes for most locations will be available a week before their scheduled reopening.

The Smithsonian closed its museums last March at the start of the pandemic. Between July and October 2020, the Smithsonian reopened eight of its facilities before closing them to the public again in late November.

The rest of the Smithsonian museums will remain closed to the public.

Additionally, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum announced on Friday that it would also reopen next month.

Visitors will be welcomed back to the facility in Washington in a reduced capacity on May 17 and must follow safety guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

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