The iconic steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art are a lot less busy these days, but that will change this summer.
The museum says it will reopen as soon as August after shutting down more than two months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"As long as they follow the guidelines that are issued by the city and the state, I think it's great, people will have to get out of their homes," one Upper East Sider walking by the museum said.
In a statement, the Met said it will open its doors by mid-August or "perhaps a few weeks later" following the state's plans for a gradual return to normalcy as the health threat wanes.
Initially, the museum's days and hours will likely be reduced, and it will not host talks, tours, concerts, or events for the rest of the year. The much-anticipated Met Gala is one of those events already canceled.
Museum reps, however, have not yet detailed how they will enforce social distancing to prevent people from clustering around the most popular exhibits, a situation that could allow the coronavirus to more easily spread.
"I think it's just going to be really hard," said Siobhan, a regular visitor. "There's some rooms where it's really small and the lines are always pretty long, I don't know how they're going to select. People are going to be excited to get back in, I think it's going to be pretty hard for them to control the crowds."
The Met turns 150 years old this year, an anniversary it still plans to celebrate despite all that's happened. Once the doors open, the museum will debut its anniversary exhibition, with a larger celebration anticipated to be held in 2021.
In a statement, the president of the museum said, "The Met has endured much in its 150 years, and today continues as a beacon of hope for the future."
"I think New Yorkers are ready to move forward, with constraints of course," one man added.
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