Museums during COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has had and will have an unprecedented impact on museums all over the world. To better understand the status quo and what might come next, we constantly monitor and analyse the COVID-19's impact on the museum sector. We have launched two reports on the topic, an interactive map and a detailed country specific overview.

NEMO reports on COVID-19 and museums

In the beginning of the pandemic, NEMO was quick in setting up a survey to map how museums are reacting to and coping with the sudden closures. In the end of 2020, a second survey was published to further investigate how museums are managing the pandemic and to identify crucial future investments necessary for the sector to thrive. Based on the findings in both surveys, NEMO is offering recommendations to stakeholders at all levels.

Mapping of closures and reopenings

NEMO is monitoring the reopening and closing of museums in Europe. Detailed information can be accessed in an overview on the status quo of museum operations during the pandemic. Our interactive map offers a quick overview of the situation in several European countries. The overview and the map have been created with the help of our members.

Have a look at the overview

National responses to COVID-19

NEMO is gathering recommendations, guidelines and news that are announced by and for museum organisations and museums across Europe.

Norwegian Museums Association


M Leuven, AGB Kunsten en Design Gent, Musea en Erfgoed Antwerpen, Abdijmuseum Ter Duinen and FARO


National Institute for Museums and Public Collections


Irish Museums Association


German Museums Association


Government of the Netherlands

The Netherlands

Oxford Economics / Creative Industries Federation

The UK

Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Region Emilia-Romagna


Netherlands Museums Association

The Netherlands

Netherlands Museums Association

The Netherlands

Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Region Emilia-Romagna


Irish Museums Association


Swizz Museums Association


ICOM Belgique Wallonie-Bruxelles and Musée et Société en Wallonie


Other resources

Hands On! - International Association of Children's Museums

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends

Museum Association of New York

Adrian Ellis and András Szántó, first published on Artnet News

Safe and open patchwork

As museums started to open again after the first closure in 2020, we were amazed by the many creative hygiene posters that they created.

NEMO Webinar: Museum lives in post-pandemia

In this NEMO Webinar from 6 May 2020, Sandro Debono, museum thinker and culture strategist, explores how institutions can sustain relevance over time even when circumstances dictate closure. It also provides practical suggestions as to how museums can keep sight of their communities' needs and ambitions as these evolve and change over time.

Podcast on COVID-19's impact on museums

On 7 May 2020, NEMO joined the podcast episode Global voices: Europe - We're all stronger together to disucss how COVID-19 has impacted attractions in Europe.

Julia Pagel, Secretary General of NEMO, David Vuillaume, Director of the German Museums Association and Chair of NEMO, as well as Aleksandra Berberih-Slana, President of the Slovenian Museums Association and a NEMO Executive Board member, joined the podcast, which is produced by Dexibit.

In the podcast, Julia, David and Aleksandra are encouraging museums across Europe with the message 'We are stronger together'. They stress the importance for European venues learning from each other (particularly as some countries reopen, such as already occurring in Germany), the role of digital in the crisis and the financial challenges ahead for some European cultural institutions despite public funding, especially for those where that funding is now at risk. Plus, insight highlights from NEMO's recent survey of COVID-19 impacts in Europe.