The Harvard Art Museums have announced a new public safety policy, to go into effect Sept. 28, in a commitment to keep the museums safe for all visitors and staff. The policy requires all visitors to provide proof of vaccination or documentation of a negative COVID-19 test upon entrance to all museums facilities. It applies to all visitors regardless of purpose of visit or length of stay, including patrons and those coming to the museums for business or academic purposes.
Harvard University already has a vaccination requirement and testing protocols in place for all students, faculty, and staff on campus. The new policy for museums visitors follows similar guidelines enacted by many local and national arts and culture organizations, including the recent announcement by fourteen Boston-area theater companies on August 19, in response to renewed public health and safety concerns amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region and the United States.
The new policy for museums visitors was developed in consultation with public health officials at Harvard. It is designed to protect the health and safety of everyone spending time inside the museums, including visitors, staff, and other occupants. The additional measure broadens the museums’ commitment to public safety, which includes an indoor mask requirement already in place at all facilities on the Harvard campus, as well as a health attestation. The museums, one of the few places on campus now open to visitors, are also operating at reduced capacity to maintain smaller crowd sizes. Harvard has rigorous policies and guidelines in place on its campus, and as such, has maintained a low number of COVID-19 cases and a low rate of positive tests throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We feel strongly about keeping an eye on the evolving public health crisis and making decisions that prioritize the safety of our visitors, staff, and campus community,” said Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. “This new policy will help us provide a safe environment for all our constituents, as we continue to implement a multi-layered approach to public health measures. We’ve worked diligently with Harvard to ensure that everyone on campus and inside our buildings is protected to the highest degree possible.”
Advance reservations are required to visit the museums, and all visitor policies are posted on the museums website. Policies are subject to change or reevaluation based on the evolving health crisis. Visitors are encouraged to check the museums website before their visit. The new vaccination and negative test requirements will be in place for all reservations made to visit the museums beginning Sept. 28.