The Ministry of Culture on Thursday issued detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for reopening of museums, art galleries, and exhibitions under it, on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, based on the Unlock 5.0 guidelines. They have been closed since March 17.
Other similar institutions can be reopened as per convenience and in tune with relevant state, city, or local laws, rules, and regulations/Unlock guidelines in force, said the Ministry in a statement.
These guidelines contain SOPs to be followed by the management of museums, art galleries, and exhibitions (both temporary and permanent), as well as the visitors to these spaces, the Ministry said.
"Comprehensive guidelines have been issued for adequate cleaning, purchase of tickets, and for ensuring the safety of visitors and staff at museums, exhibitions, and art galleries."
The ministry has also clarified that no museums and/or art galleries shall re-open inside containment zones, and State/UT governments may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.
"The National Directives for COVID-19 Management and the relevant guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, State/UT Governments, etc. shall be strictly complied with during all activities and operations. These guidelines shall come into effect immediately, and shall continue to be in effect until further orders," said the Ministry.
It should be noted that COVID -19 pandemic has hit the museum and art sector across the world, and said that as museums and art galleries slowly resume their operations and re-open their premises, it is imperative that comprehensive guidelines are laid down to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
In an issued statement, the Ministry hoped the reopening during the festive season would allow the public to once again enjoy exploring the rich cultural heritage of India.
Notably, cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes are permitted to open with up to 50 percent of their seating capacity, in areas outside the containment zones only, from October 15. Entertainment parks and similar places and business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions have also been permitted to open with effect from October 15.
With a ceiling of 100 persons and other guidelines, social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations have already been permitted outside containment zones.