Smithsonian to end mask mandate, expand days of operation

Starting Friday, visitors to the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in D.C. will no longer be required to wear a mask, according to a news release from the Smithsonian.

The National Mall
Aerial view of the National Mall in Washington, DC. Shows the Freer, the original Smithsonian building, known as “the Castle,” the Arts and Industries building, the Hirshorn museum, the Air and Space Museum, and the Native American Museum. (Photo Getty Images)

According to the release, the change in policy “reflects the recent change in guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and national guidelines around masking indoors.”

Visitors to the Smithsonian can continue to wear a mask if they so choose.

After nearly two years of modified schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smithsonian also announced it would begin a transition to expand its schedule to seven days a week for certain buildings.

Beginning March 14, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Zoo will be open to the public seven days a week.

For the time being, other museums will continue to operate on a reduced schedule, the release said.

More information about the Smithsonian, its COVID-19 protocols and revised hours can be found at its website.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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