Following an update in guidances for vaccinated individuals issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some businesses are loosening restrictions related to COVID-19. In the cultural sector, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) may be one of the first to announce new guidelines: beginning tomorrow, May 29, neither visitors nor staff will be required to mask up.
MFA Boston “encourages visitors to continue wearing masks,” however, and plans to keep enhanced cleaning protocols in place, according to a press statement.
The museum will also increase gallery capacity throughout June. Starting in July, timed-entry tickets will not be required except for two exhibitions: Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated and Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation.
The move is in line with reopening plan updates from the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where, as of tomorrow, masks will remain mandatory only in public and private transportation systems; healthcare facilities; and other settings hosting vulnerable populations.
Elsewhere in the country, institutions will continue to enforce mask-wearing as they monitor updates from local and federal agencies. At the Guggenheim in New York City, for instance, masks are still mandatory for all visitors over the age of two, a spokesperson told Hyperallergic, and the museum will maintain a capacity limit for the time being. The Whitney Museum of American Art will continue to require face coverings, even for individuals who are fully vaccinated, but is gradually increasing its visitor capacity, aiming to hit 50% by June 1.
As some Smithsonian institutions in Washington, DC, begin to reopen this summer, including the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Museum of Natural History, they are also hanging on to mask requirements indoors, despite DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s recent order to lift the city-wide mask mandate. Fully vaccinated guests do not have to wear face coverings in outdoor spaces.