Five thousand years of art and design history will be joined by some more modern items when London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum reopens on Thursday – hand sanitiser dispensers and protective screens.
Mask-wearing visitors will be allowed to tour exhibits on two of the museum’s floors, strolling through 250 years of European Renaissance art, a dazzling Islamic Middle East gallery, and five centuries of fashion from around the world.
Tickets are free but visitors will be allowed in on a booking-only basis after months of coronavirus-enforced closure, marking another step in Britain’s tentative economic and cultural reopening.
The 160-year-old museum, named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, has been modified to meet the demands of social distancing regulations designed to prevent the spread of a COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 46,000 people in Britain alone.
Hand sanitiser dispensers have been dotted around the sprawling, mosaic-floored building. The gift shop and cafe have been equipped with protective screens.
Further sections of the V&A’s seven miles of galleries will reopen in phases later in the month.