WWII Museum to reopen on Memorial Day with new safety measures
NEW ORLEANS- After temporarily closing its doors to protect visitors, staff, and volunteers, the National WWII Museum announced Monday that they will reopen on Memorial Day, May 25.
Following Gov. John Bel Edwards' proclamation and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell's safe reopening plan, the museum will operate at 25 percent capacity and enact new safety measures, according to a statement.
New safety measures include advanced online ticket purchases, social distancing guidelines throughout pavilions and galleries, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols.
To prevent crowds, timed ticket purchases will be required. Tickets are available for purchase at nationalww2museum.org.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact in our communities and while we are grateful to reopen, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our visitors, local residents and entire museum family,” Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO said.
“Over the past eight weeks, we’ve carefully developed reopening guidelines with the help of more than 20 national organizations, peer institutions across the state and country, the American Alliance of Museums and various local health experts. Our Operations staff have also worked hard to gather necessary safety supplies, including masks, gloves, plexiglass sneeze guards, touch-less sanitizing stations, and directional signage. These new procedures will ensure we’re meeting the highest public health standards while maintaining the excellence of the museum’s visitor experience. We’re looking forward to reopening, and it will be particularly meaningful on Memorial Day as we honor our fallen military personnel who valiantly served our country," Watson said.
For the first phase of reopening, most galleries, exhibits, and experiences will be available with controlled attendance to allow for social distance between visitors.
The museum also says there will be one designated entrance and exit to each exhibit, along with a designated path for visitors to follow to avoid overcrowding and unnecessary crossing of paths.
According to the statement, most interactive exhibits will be accessible with a disposable stylus, which will be provided upon arrival. A few interactive exhibits will be turned off due to their tactile nature.
"Cleaning will be enhanced throughout the museum, including increased frequency of disinfecting high-traffic surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations will also be available across the museum’s campus. In accordance with city guidelines, the museum’s staff and volunteers, as well as all visitors, will be required to wear face coverings during the initial reopening phase; complimentary masks will be provided for all guests who need one. As recommended by state and city officials, seniors and people with serious medical conditions should delay their visit until a safer time," The National WWII Museum announced.
In the first phase of reopening, The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavillion, L.W. "Pete" Kent Train Car Experience, BB's Stage Door Canteen, Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience and The Jeri Nims Soda Shop will remain closed.
According to the statement, the museum’s 4D experience Beyond All Boundaries will continue to run hourly at a reduced capacity of 62 people, 25% of what the theater can hold, and with theater doors, railings, seats, and armrests disinfected before each show. The American Sector will open for counter service, and tables will be assembled so guests can eat at a proper distance.
For a full list of available experiences and more information about what to expect during a visit, click here.