The Smithsonian will reopen two of its facilities, the National Zoo in DC and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, on Friday, July 24.
There will be new health and safety measures in place in the facilities against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entry will be via free, timed-entry passes for both locations.
All other Smithsonian museums will remain temporarily closed to the public in the meantime. There is no reopening date for them yet.
“As a public entity, we thrive on serving our visitors and making our collections readily available to them, virtually and in person,” Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, was quoted as saying in a statement from the organization.
“However, the safety and well-being of our staff, visitors and volunteers come first and are paramount, so we are taking a deliberate, phased and cautious approach to reopening. Our goal is to be safe and measured in order to adjust and pivot as necessary.”
The National Zoo will be open 8 am–4 pm daily. The Udvar-Hazy Center will be open 10 am–5:30 pm daily.
Zooventure? 🦍 🦁 🐼 The Smithsonian’s National Zoo reopens on Friday, July 24! Before you visit, learn about new entry and safety requirements. ➡️ ❔ Get all your questions answered here: https://t.co/0qamyv9e4y @smithsonian pic.twitter.com/5K2K3v8imL
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) July 21, 2020
The new safety measures at the two locations are as follows:
- Requesting that all visitors who are sick or do not feel well stay home.
- Requiring that visitors ages six and older wear face coverings during their visit—inside the Udvar-Hazy Center and Zoo buildings as well as in Zoo outdoor spaces. Face coverings are also strongly recommended for visitors between the ages of two and six, per CDC guidelines.
- Limiting the number of people in each facility by requiring all visitors to obtain a free, timed-entry pass in advance of their visit. Beginning on July 20, visitors can reserve passes online or by phone and select the desired date and time for their visit. The Smithsonian will release 5,000 timed passes per day for the Zoo and about 1,500 passes per day for the Udvar-Hazy Center. Those numbers may change over time.
- Implementing safe social distancing, including some one-way paths and directional guidance where appropriate.
- Providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors and conducting enhanced cleaning throughout both facilities.
- Restrooms will be open. Outdoor concessions and retail kiosks will be open at the Zoo. Indoor concessions and retail will not be open at the Udvar-Hazy Center, but food trucks will be on-site, pending availability.
- All on-site public tours and events are temporarily suspended. Some exhibits, interactives, rides, demonstrations, theaters or indoor spaces may be closed or operate at limited capacity, including some indoor spaces and artifacts unavailable at the Udvar-Hazy Center due to a previously planned roof-reconstruction project. Detailed information for visitors is available on the National Zoo’s website and the National Air and Space Museum’s website.