Berlin has already shown its consideration to Culture as a basic necessity, including professionals in state aid packages to alleviate the economic effects of the coronavirus and maintaining open bookstores as establishments of necessary access throughout the health crisis. Now it goes one step further in that direction and becomes a pioneer in European capitals by announcing the reopening of museums from May 4. After two months closed, museums, libraries will reopen and cultural events can be held in which up to 50 people participate outdoors. Large cultural events, however, will remain banned until at least October 24.
Access to museums must comply certain conditions, As the mandatory use of a mask and the safety distance of at least one and a half metersTherefore, cultural institutions must ensure that there are marks on the ground that guarantee this distance, as well as installing disinfectant liquid dispensers. Depending on the surface of each museum, visitor access will be limited to a number that guarantees safety distances. The Berlin Senate has also requested museums to avoid the queues, so that the most visited will choose to sell tickets in advance and through the Internet, with a fixed time to visit, as some of them have been doing for years due to high demand.
In Berlin there are 170 museums, both public and private, as well as a network of galleries that will be subject to the same health safety regulations. The Regional Minister for Culture, Monika Grütters, considers the reopening “a decisive step in the exit strategy for the cultural sector” and trusts that “museums can play a role of advance in the gradual reopening of cultural institutions“
Even so, the situation of museums and exhibition halls is still complicated because due to the closure of borders will lack cultural tourism for the moment. Only the Museum island, Cultural Heritage of Humanity and one of the great tourist attractions of the German capital, received in 2019 more than three million visits, data that will inevitably be far from that of 2020.
From the point of view of the German Association of Museums, museums can lead by way of example the return of cultural offerings and has compiled a list of museums and their needs to take an active part in the conditioning necessary for the reopening and help directives to prepare, using the previous experience of Brandenburg, the region that surrounds the German capital and whose libraries, archives, galleries, museums and exhibition halls can reopen from Wednesday April 22. Brandenburg’s zoos and game reserves have also been reopened.