Washington – The Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned US museum and research complex, announced that it will temporarily close all its museums and the National Zoo located in Washington DC from November 23 due to the resurgence of new Covid-19 cases.
“The Institution’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff. We will use this time to reassess, monitor and explore additional risk-mitigation measures,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Smithsonian as saying in a statement on Thursday.
“Due to the changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a reopening date at this time,” it said.
The institution previously closed its museums and the National Zoo in March, and had a limited reopening to the public in September.
WATCH: 10 Mysteries That are Locked Away in the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institution has 19 museums, nine research centres, and many affiliates around the world.
Other re-closings announced this week include The National Gallery of Art in D.C., The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago, NPR reported.
And things don’t bode well for the arts and culture sector.
According to a report released by the American Alliance of Museums, “museums are losing millions while operating on slim reserves, leaving about one-third of all institutions at risk of permanent closure.”
Due to the grim situation, the US Centers for Disease Control has advised Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving next week.