A new meaning to the fourth of July: provisional date set for reopening galleries

Published by Florence McCrae on May 13th 2020, 11:11am

Unless you are American, the fourth of July is not a particularly significant date. A Saturday, almost six weeks from now, the day itself is quite unexceptional. However, under new government guidelines, 4 July will now be pencilled into the diaries of the great and the good in the cultural sphere – it is the earliest possible date that museums and galleries can be reopened for the public, while obeying strict guidelines.

Art venues, according to The Telegraph, will be covered by “Step Three” of the official plan, which recognises them as "higher-risk businesses", especially considering the nature of these closed spaces.

A glimmer of hope is the promise of events which can take place “behind closed doors” from the beginning of June, including an “empty hall” concert series at Wigmore Hall, which is planned for early next month. It is believed that events such as the Proms may follow suit.

In the meantime, unless cultural establishments are able to make themselves “Covid-19 Secure” they will remain closed for the next six weeks at least. Achieving such a status requires observing strict social distancing within their hallowed halls, reducing the number of visitors who can attend, and subsequently the financial takings of such venues.

A document released by the government earlier this week, reads: "Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely [in July], or may be able to open safely only in part."

While the Premier League is planning to commence behind closed doors, it is unclear how and when cultural institutions will decide to reopen.

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Authored By

Florence McCrae
Literary Editor
May 13th 2020, 11:11am

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