D.C.’s Smithsonian Institute reopens two more museums, one already booked through the weekend

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Visitors are also now required to make reservations before coming to the museum

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Smithsonian Institute reopened the doors at two more museums on Friday.

The National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of American History now joins eight other museums within the Smithsonian Institute that are open to visitors. 

The organization has been reopening the doors to its facilities in phases since July. With the reopening comes added safety precautions. 

Andrea Lowther, the Executive Director of Experience Design for the National Museum of American History, said, “It’s been a long process.” Lowther explained that the Smithsonian has added new training for employees, in addition to putting more protocols in place. She said, “We’ve been working with the central Smithsonian offices on everything from signage to new cleaning protocols to new security protocols.”

All of the training and new additions led to the moment the museum could begin allowing visitors again, six months after closing the doors in March. Visitors who come to the museum will notice a new procedure when walking through the doors.

Bags no longer have to be checked, unless the metal detector goes off. Additionally, visitors go to the building at the entrance on Constitution Avenue and exit onto the National Mall.

Visitors coming to any Smithsonian site should wear a face mask and social distance from other visitors. Additionally, they will be offered hand sanitizer at multiple locations in the building. 

The hours of operation have also changed. Lowther explained, “We’re now only open from Friday-Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., so that’s a little different.”

Visitors are also now required to make reservations before coming to the museum.

The addition of reservations has not hindered people from coming. Lowther said the museum is already booked through the weekend.

She said, “It’s a huge building that’s meant to be filled with people. Even though we are at a limited capacity right now, it’s really heartening to see visitors coming back in to see some of our most iconic artifacts and exhibits.”

For more information on Smithsonian sites that are open or to book a reservation, click here.

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