Tampa Museums are Opening Up

by Michael Abdoney - 05/30/2020 -Tampa

Tampa’s arts and entertainment sector will soon see several doors reopening to the public. While some local museums are remaining cautious in how and when they reopen, several have plans to reopen immediately. Here’s what guests will need to know about the reopen timing and new safety precautions.

Museums Are Reopening With New Operational Processes

Under an executive order by Governor DeSantis, Tampa’s museums could’ve opened earlier this month, but they’ve remained wary and opted to stay closed. Museum executives have used this time to develop a strategic reopening plan to accommodate new pandemic operational guidelines and leave room for future pandemic guidance from local officials. The objective is a safe reopening, and that means new operational processes.

The Tampa Museum Of Art

The museum will kick off a limited reopening on May 30 and 31, which will be to welcome back its members and sponsors only. At 10 a.m. on June 1, 2020, the museum will reopen to the public. They’ll resume their regular hours of operation and be open seven days a week. Executives have implemented a thorough safety plan to protect its workers and visitors. Expect to see these changes in visiting the museum:

  • Key entrances and any area of potential guest concentration, such as bathrooms and queue lines, will have visual markers for instruction. Staff will also be located near such areas for further instruction.
  • Transactional desks will have glass barriers between staff and guests.
  • Guests are encouraged to wear facial protection, such as face masks or scarves, and maintain six-feet of social distancing.
  • Guests may purchase a face mask at the museum’s store.
  • Visitor groups and public tours is limited to no more than 10 in the party, including staff, guides, and guests. Advanced scheduling is mandatory.
  • Operations will run a 25 percent max capacity.
  • Public events and programs are limited by the new 25 percent capacity and will occur by registration only.
  • Guests are asked to make reservations by email or phone since the museum will not be offering timed tickets and capacity limits may result in significant waits or being turned away at the door.
  • A grab-and-go menu will be offered at TMA’s Riverwalk Cafe until further notice. Food will be served in sealed and recyclable containers.

The Museum Of Science And Industry In Tampa

This museum has chosen to reopen to all on May 27, 2020. It has many interactive exhibits that required careful considerations to safety. Expect to see these changes in visiting the museum:

  • Staff interacting with guests will be required to wear face masks.
  • All staff will undergo temperature checks when checking in for work; if above 100.4 degrees, the worker will be sent home and not permitted to return until two consecutive COVID-19 tests yield negative results.
  • The venue’s entry and exit doors will stay propped open.
  • The indoor attendance capacity, which doesn’t include the Science Park because of it’s open air environment, will operate at 50 percent max capacity.

The Glazer Children’s Museum

On June 6, 2020, the Glazier Children’s Museum will reopen to the public. Expect to see several operational changes, including:

  • The museum will not be open on Mondays. This day will be used for staff in-service, deep cleaning, and facility maintenance.
  • Floor signage will be in place to promote social distancing.
  • Adult guests must wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times.
  • Staff will wear cloth masks at all times.
  • Some of the museum’s attractions and areas will be one-way through an entrance and exit only.
  • Certain attractions and exhibits will remained closed because they can’t be cleaned frequently.
  • All open attractions and exhibits will be disinfected regularly and frequently.
  • Staff will replace all hand-held features on an exhibit four times per day.
  • The museum will operate at 25 percent max capacity.
  • Admission to the museum will be by timed reservation only, which can be purchased online as early as May 28, 2020.
  • While museum members will retain their free admission status, they will be subject to the same advance online reservations for an entry time as other guests.

These museums have obviously taken great care in reopening with safety in mind. Be on the lookout for other Tampa tourist attraction reopening announcements. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Florida Aquarium, and ZooTampa are also set to reopen in the upcoming weeks.