According to a recent press release, the New Bedford Whaling Museum plans on welcoming visitors back this month.

Doors will reopen on Thursday, July 9 after being closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. The first two weeks will be reserved for members only and the Museum plans to open up to the entire public on Thursday, July 23.

The team has also been preparing its campus to welcome back visitors for a re-imagined museum experience. The hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday only. Masks are mandatory for admittance and adherence to social distancing.

In addition to around-the-clock cleaning and disinfecting routines, the Museum has installed UV air purification systems throughout the building, which reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.

A newly designed path through the Museum has been designed to allow the most space possible for visitors to social distance throughout their visit. Structural changes to the Museum’s entrance and exit are complete, and protective plexiglass shields have been installed at key locations. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Museum as well.

“As a place that ignites learning and welcomes the community, we are eager to play our role in this particular moment when we all need to feel a little bit of normalcy,” said Amanda D. McMullen, President, and CEO. “Because of the significant financial impact that COVID has had on our community, during our reopening phase we have decided to offer admission to the Museum on a pay-what-you-can model, ensuring that everyone can have the opportunity to take a break and enjoy our galleries.”

The Museum has instituted a timed, online reservation system to reduce the traffic flow and time spent in line, and the maximum capacity is set at 125 people (25% of its total capacity).

Though the campus has been closed to the public, the staff has been busy creating digital activities and hosting virtual programs that will continue into the foreseeable future.

The Museum is monitoring the public health data available, as well as following the guidance set forth by state and local leaders, and it will open its doors when it is both safe and recommended to do so. Therefore, reopening dates may shift depending on the information made available.

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