Major London museums to open and expect 80% drop in visitors

Some of London’s biggest museums have announced their plans to reopen next month, but are expecting visitor numbers to drop by 80% when they do, according to the BBC.

The Natural History Museum, V&A and Science Museum will all open their doors again during August.

Visitors will be “strongly” recommended to wear face masks, but it will not be compulsory, as it will in shops.

Free tickets must be booked in advance. The venues ruled out charging, despite their “very precarious” finances.

The museums all have their main bases in South Kensington and will reopen before the end of the school summer holidays:

Natural History Museum – 5 August, seven days a week, with the “vast majority” of galleries open. The branch in Tring, Hertfordshire, will reopen on the same day.

V&A – ground and lower ground floors from 6 August, open Thursday-Sunday; then first and second floors, and the V&A Dundee, from 27 August.

Science Museum – 19 August, seven days a week until 6 September, then Wednesday-Sunday. Reopening dates vary for the four other attractions in the Science Museum Group.

Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said its visitor numbers would initially be capped at 2,800 per day.

“But that’s about a fifth of our normal average attendance,” he said. “We’re expecting something like an 80% reduction until social distancing rules change, and the public attitudes to visiting change.

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