With Phase 2 a go, DC’s spy and bible museums are first to reopen

The International Spy Museum and the Museum of the Bible in downtown D.C. are reopening on Monday, set to become two of the city’s first museums to allow visitors back in after a months-long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Museums and galleries are allowed to reopen under the city’s second recovery phase starting Monday with limited capacity and strong safeguards for physical distancing. Under D.C. Health guidelines, museums are allowed to organize small events of up to 50 people but guided tours are still barred.

The Museum of the Bible released a list of 10 safety guidelines for its visitors in the style of the 10 commandments, including “thou shalt wear a face mask” and “thou shalt practice social distancing, at least six feet apart, and avoid crowding.”

Guests will be provided with their own stylus to interact with the museum’s touch displays, and all galleries will be running under staggered entry to reduce the number of people in them at any given time. The Milk + Honey Cafe and museum restaurant will reopen, albeit with a limited selection.

The Spy Museum offered similar precautions at its year-old L’Enfant Plaza hall, mandating masks for anyone but children under the age of 9, providing “spy gadgets” (in reality, styluses) for interactive screens and installing floor markers as social distancing aids. Some high-touch areas in exhibits will remain closed to address safety concerns.

To lower wait times and ensure contactless entry, the Spy Museum strongly recommends guests book general admission tickets online prior to their visit.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden also recently reopened as an outdoor space along the National Mall where visitors can enjoy art displays while maintaining physical distancing.

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Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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