Presently, art galleries remain closed in nearly all parts of the world. Planned exhibitions have also been cancelled or postponed after governments stopped public gatherings and functions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, other sectors are slowly coming back to life, as various governments have allowed sporting events and other industries to resume. Nonetheless, businesses will no longer be the same as they were before the pandemic.
Everyone has to be cautious, including both business owners and customers, if public gatherings are to resume. Some of the precautionary measures art galleries can take to curb the spread of the virus are highlighted below.
Sanitizing and Disinfecting
The coronavirus can live for several days on surfaces. Anyone who touches an infected surface, therefore, is prone to contracting the virus. So in order for art exhibitions and galleries to minimize the spread of the virus, it is essential to disinfect all art centers.
Washing one’s hands can be another way to prevent people from becoming infected. Galleries should have cleaning points at which patrons can wash their hands with clean water and sanitizers. What’s more, museums should set strict rules to ensure that no one enters without sanitizing first.
Maintaining Social-Distancing Rules
Health authorities have advised people to maintain a safe social distance of at least two meters apart. However, this can be a difficult, considering that art galleries are often crowded. Therefore, galleries will need to limit the number of people allowed in at one time. For instance, if a gallery can hold 100 people at a time, it should reduce its maximum capacity to around 40. This way, it’s possible to maintain proper social distancing with a view to reducing the chances of the coronavirus spreading.
Avoiding Contact with Money
Some galleries charge entry fees, and physical money has been identified as a major way of potentially spreading the virus. Therefore, to ensure that money transactions don’t help spread COVID-19, art galleries should consider other payment methods, such as bank transfers, PayPal, e-wallets, prepaid cards, mobile money, or direct deposits, all of which can be used instead of cash.
Organizing Virtual Programs
Presently, nearly everyone has a device that connects them to the internet. Using their laptops, smartphones, or other mobile devices, people can visit galleries online. Instead of people packing tightly into a museum, art lovers can take tours of their favourite galleries from the comfort of their own homes. Furthermore, virtual gallery programs are convenient, affordable, and accessible to everyone. You don’t have to travel to another country or continent in order to view world-renowned artwork.
The best advice for preventing the spread of the coronavirus is to simply avoid contact with other people. Although most people try to wash their hands regularly, there’s always a chance they may touch their face before washing their hands. For this reason, art galleries should ban the shaking of hands and hugging. This way, physical contact between people will be limited.
Normally, people in a museum will gather around a particularly notable display. This tendency to form groups, however, increases the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus. With this in mind, galleries should not allow people to stand together in one area. Although two or three people may stand together to view a display, they should also maintain proper social-distancing rules as a means of curbing the spread of the virus.
Demanding Patrons Wear Masks
The Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control advises that everyone should wear masks in public places. Face masks help avoid touching the face, which can accelerate the rate at which people contract the coronavirus. For instance, if someone comes into contact with an infected person and doesn’t have a face mask, it’s possible they may touch their mouth, eyes, or nose before sanitizing. With a mask, by contrast, the virus cannot make contact with sensitive parts of the face. By wearing a mask, one can drastically minimize the chance of infection.