London, June 30 (IANS) The vast majority of England’s galleries and museums won’t reopen on July 4, despite being given the go-ahead by the UK government to do so last week amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it was reported on Tuesday.
While the National Gallery will be the first major London gallery to reopen its doors from July 8, The Royal Academy also announced its plans on Tuesday to reopen from July 9, with face masks compulsory, reports the BBC.
The Barbican gallery will reopen on July 13, but the Tate Modern said its four venues would not reopen their doors until July 27.
Many other venues have not yet set a firm date, but some will not let the public back in until August or September.
In their announcements on Tuesday, the National Gallery, Tate, Barbican and Royal Academy all said visitors would need to book timed tickets in advance.
Last week, the government confirmed that museums and galleries can open from Saturday, as can cinemas, pubs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, libraries, theme parks and zoos.
Cultural institutions opening on that date will include Scarborough Art Gallery.
But many will not have had time to implement the government safety guidance.
Visitors will be asked to follow one-way routes around the building, and to maintain the 2-metre social distancing, the BBC reported.
The other venues opening soon include Derby Museum & Art Gallery and the National Army Museum in London, both from July 7. The capital’s Foundling Museum will reopen “in early July”.
The Whitechapel Gallery will open on July 14, and the Wallace Collection a day later.
The Hepworth Wakefield and the Serpentine will both follow in early August, but the Whitworth in Manchester will not let visitors back until September.
Meanwhile, the British Museum, Natural History Museum, National Museums Liverpool and Royal Armouries are among those who have not set a reopening date, but have confirmed it won’t be July 4.