Overview of museum reopenings

With the help of our members, we gather information about the status quo of museum operations during the pandemic. By clicking on the arrows, you will find country-specific information concerning reopenings, national guidelines and advocacy measures. The list is non-exhaustive, and we welcome additions and updates.

The overview is accompanied by a NEMO statement calling for museums to reopen and receive support to stay open. Museums help people navigate our new normal while allowing them to mentally recharge in spaces that can be tailored to adhere to Covid-19 security measures.

  • Open or closed?
    • Austria

      After having to close in connection to a national lockdown on 22 November 2021, Austrian museums could reopen again on 11 December. Since 13 December, museums in all of the federal states are open.

      Austrian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Belgium

      Museums in Belgium are open since 1 December 2020.

      ICOM Belgium Wallonia-Brussels, 1st week of December

    • Bulgaria

      Officially, museums must remain closed until 31 March 2022 by orders issued on 26 November 2021 by the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. However, if museums comply with the following conditions, they may keep open:

      • All staff members are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have a valid negative test, and
      • The museum only admits visitors who are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have a valid negative test.

      These rules do not apply to people under the age of 18.

      Bulgarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Croatia

      Museums are open since the end of April 2020.

      Croatian Museums Association, 4th week of December 2021

    • Cyprus

      Museums and archaeological sites have been allowed to keep open since 8 February.

      Costas and Rita Severis Foundation (Centre of Visual Arts and Research), 3rd week of December 2021

    • Czechia

      Museums and galleries are open since 10 May 2021.

      Czech Association of Museums and Galleries, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Denmark

      Museums could reopen on 16 January 2022 after having to close on 19 December 2021 in connection to nationwide corona restrictions.

      Association of Danish Museums, 3rd week of January 2022

    • Estonia

      Estonian museums have been allowed to keep open since 3 May 2021.

      Estonian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Finland

      All museums are open since 1 June 2021.

      Finnish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • France

      Museum have been able to keep open since 19 May 2021.

      ICOM France, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Germany

      Since the spring of 2021, all regions in Germany allow museums to be open.

      German Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Greece

      Museums in Greece are open since 14 May 2021. Archaeological sites and open spaces have been allowed to be open since March 2021.

      National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), 4th week of June

    • Hungary

      In Hungary, museums have been able to stay open since May/ June 2021.

      Pulszky Society - Hungarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

       

    • Iceland

      Most museums reopened in the end of November 2020 after having to close in September the same year.

      Icelandic Museums Association, 2nd week of December

    • Ireland

      Museums in the Republic of Ireland are open and have been open since 10 May 2021. Museums in Northern Ireland have been open since 24 May 2021.

      Irish Museum Association, 1st week of January 2022

    • Italy

      Museums are open since 26 April 2021.

      The second and third lockdowns summarised:

      • Museums closed from 5 November 2020 - 8 February 2021.
      • They had to close again from 1 March - 26 April 2021 and could gradually reopen.

      ICOM Italy, 4th week of December 2021

    • Luxembourg

      Every museum in Luxembourg reopened since 11 January 2021.

      The National Museum of History and Art, 3rd week of February 

    • Latvia

      Museums reopened on 15 November 2021 after being closed since 20 October due to a national lockdown.

      Latvian Museums Association, 3rd week of November 2021

    • Lithuania

      Museums have been able to keep open since 15 March 2021.

      Lithuanian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Malta

      Museums have been able to keep open since June 2020. There is no concrete sign of them having to close again in the near future.

      Heritage Malta, 1st week of December 2021

    • The Netherlands

      In connection to a national lockdown, museums are closed from 19 December 2021 until 25 January 2022.

      Netherlands Museums Association, 3rd week of January 2022

    • Norway

      Museums are open since May/June 2020.

      In connection to local Covid-19 outbreaks, museums were closed for shorter or longer periods during the Autumn 2020. Museums in Oslo were closed from November 2020 until May 2021.

      Norwegian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

       

    • Poland

      All museums in Poland have been open to the public since 4 May 2021.

      National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, 4th week of December 2021

    • Portugal

      Museums have been able to keep open since the beginning of April 2021.

      General Direction Cultural Heritage Portugal (DGPC), 1st week of December 2021

    • Romania

      All museums are open and have been able to keep open since May 2021.

      National Network of Romanian Museums, 4th week of December 2021

    • Russia

      Museums in Russia are open.

      ICOM Russia, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Slovakia

      Museums could open again on 10 December after being declared an exception from the national lockdown that stared on 29 November.

      Union of Museums in Slovakia, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Slovenia

      As of 6 February, all museums could reopen.

      Slovenian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Spain

      Museums are open and most of them have been open since June 2020.

      Spanish Association of Cultural Heritage Managers, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Sweden

      Museums are open and they have never been forced to close since the start of the pandemic. However, in the beginning of 2021, people were recommended to not visit public places, such as museums, which lead to several museums closing. The majority of the closed museums had reopened in June 2021.

      Swedish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Switzerland

      Swiss museums have been allowed to keep open since 1 March 2021.

      Swiss Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • The United Kingdom

      Museums are open, but a few museums are either closing, considering closing or are preparing for another potential lockdown.

      Museums in Scotland were allowed to open from 26 April 2021. Museums in England and Wales started to open from 17 May 2021. Museums in Northern Ireland could open again starting from 24 May.

      UK Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

  • Guidelines & safety measures
    • Austria

      Museums are open since 11 December 2021. Visitors may enter if they comply with the so called 2G rule, which mean that only people who are vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 may enter. FFP2-masks are mandatory.

      Guided tours and other events are possible – with restrictions (visitor registrations, official reporting required).

      Austrian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Belgium

      Museums in Belgium are open since 1 December 2020. People must get a so called Covid Safe Ticket (CST) to visit a museum. A CST is acquired by providing proof of:

      • Complete vaccination with a vaccine recognized by the European Union;
      • Certificate of a negative PCR test performed (max 48 hours old), or an antigen test (rapid test) performed (max 24 hours old). Antigen testing must be performed by a legally authorized person. Organizers may, but are not required to, offer these tests upon entry;
      • Proof of recovery from Covid-19 that is no older than 180 days.

      Additionally, all visitors above the age of 6 years old must wear a mask and the distance of 1.5 meters between visitors of different families/people living together must be respected. School visits and activities in a museum are not allowed since 3 November 2021. Museum restaurants stays open but until 23h00 only; mandatory CST & mask until being seated until and a maximum of 6 guests are allowed per table.

      There is no more mandatory circuit so visitors can freely wander within an exhibition or museum spaces

      Indoor events are limited to a maximum of 200 people seated with a mask and CST must be followed for events with more than 50 people. Activities organized with an attendant (e.g. creative workshops, training courses, guided tours), CST is mandatory in addition to distance and mask rules even if the number of participants is less than 50 people indoors (100 outdoors).

      Since 1 September 2021, the use of an air quality (CO2) measuring device is mandatory and must be installed so that it is clearly visible to visitors in shared enclosed spaces of the cultural sector. The device indicates if the space is adequately ventilated. The target air quality standard is 900 ppm CO2.

      Since 20 November 2021, four-day-a-week remote work is mandatory, presence at work only if required by the function.

      ICOM Belgium Wallonia-Brussels, 1st week of December

    • Bulgaria

      Officially, museums must remain closed until 31 March 2022 by orders issued on 26 November 2021 by the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. However, if museums comply with the following conditions, they may keep open:

      • All staff members are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have a valid negative test, and
      • The museum only admits visitors who are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have a valid negative test.

      These rules do not apply to people under the age of 18.

      Educational activities for children are allowed if a 1.5 safety distance is respected and that no more than 5 people are in the same room. People need to wear masks, ensure hand hygiene and rooms must be ventilated every hour.

      Bulgarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Croatia

      Museums are open, but visitors need to wear masks and present a Covid-19 pass to prove full vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 or negative test.

      Croatian Museums Association, 4th week of December

    • Cyprus

      Museums are currently open, however, with some restrictions and limitations. People are allowed to enter only if they have a valid so called “safe pass” that needs to be scanned at the entrance. The digital safe passes are scanned at the entrance the prove either vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 or one week's PCR/rapid test. Additionally, visitors must wear a mask and the maximum number of visitors is restricted based on the total square meter of the venue.

      Starting from 15 December, unvaccinated people cannot enter restaurants, coffee shops, theatres, cinemas or attend any social events, but there is no special reference to museums.

      As for educational activities, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, has announced that public schools can attend selected museums and environmental activities that are organised by the Ministry itself. In the case of private museums, school visits are not allowed even if the museum is accredited by the state and the educational programmes are evaluated by the Ministry.

      Costas and Rita Severis Foundation (Centre of Visual Arts and Research), 3rd week of December 2021

    • Czechia

      Visitors must wear FFP2 masks during their visit. To attend group events with more than 20 visitors and any bigger event it is also required to show a certificate of full vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR test (valid for 72 hours) in case vaccination is not completed. People who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons have to show medical proof that they cannot get vaccinated together with a negative PCR test.

      Czech Association of Museums and Galleries, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Denmark

      Museums are open since 16 January 2022. Visitors must wear face masks and present their corona passport (vaccination, recovered or recent negative test result) at the entrance.

      Association of Danish Museums, 3rd week of January 2022

    • Estonia

      Estonian museums are open since 3 May 2021. Museum visitors aged 12 years and older should be vaccinated and have to show proof of vaccination. Masks must be worn indoors. Since the numbers increased too much, unvaccinated people with a negative test are not allowed anymore.

      Some exceptions to the vaccination demand apply to the educational programs. Children (up to 19 years old) from one class don't have to be vaccinated to participate since they do obligatory Covid-19 tests in school 2-3 times per week. However, the school groups cannot be mixed.

      Although the infection rate was quite high in November, there were never any discussions to close museums. It seems like the importance of keeping cultural organisations open is now widely accepted. Also, museums have been very attentive in offering safe museum visits (by controlling masks, vaccine certificates, disinfecting). Museums are not overcrowded and it is possible to keep distances.

      Estonian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Finland

      Museums are open since 1 June, but many require Covid-19 passports, which shows if a person is vaccinated, recovered or tested negative. There are regional restrictions that allow only 20 persons indoors. The Covid-19 passports are not mandatory, but they allow museums to admit more visitors at the same time. 

      Finnish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • France

      Museums are open since 19 May 2021. People can visit museums providing that they have a Covid certificate (‘passe sanitaire’), which proves that they are either fully vaccinated, have a negative test result no older than 24 hours or are recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. People accessing these establishments for professional or research purposes are excepted this rule but they must be able to present a valid reason.

      Additionally, people need to wear masks when visiting the museum.

      ICOM France, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Germany

      Museums are open since the spring of 2021. Starting 6 December 2021, all museums in Germany must operate under the so called 2G-Rule, which requires visitors to show proof of vaccination or recovery. Some regions in Germany may introduce stricter rules to combat the pandemic, but the museums will still stay open.

      German Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Greece

      Museums in Greece are open since 14 May 2021. Masks must be worn during the visit and to enter museums, visitors aged 12 years and older must demonstrate:

      • vaccination certificate or
      • recovery certificate (within 6 months after diagnosis)

      Children aged 4-17 years may present, as an alternative, result of a self-test from the last 24 hours. The visitors' identity is confirmed through ID card/passport. For minors over 12 years old, any official document or social security (AMKA) certification is considered valid.

      Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Hungary

      Visitors to Hungarian museums, which have been open since May 2021, must adhere some basic epidemiologic rules, according to the national pandemic regulations and various local regulations.

      On the national level, since 20th of November it is mandatory to wear masks when visiting indoor venues like museums, theatres, cinemas or any other cultural facilities. In cultural institutions the staff members also have to wear masks during working hours. Admission to cultural events above 500 visitors is allowed only with vaccination and immunity certificate (plastic card or EU app). 

      Next to these general conditions, the museums on the local level may announce their own regulations, with consideration to the actual pandemic situation. Many museums allow visitors only with vaccination and immunity certificate. Several museum events have been cancelled or delayed, and many others moved to the virtual space.

      Pulszky Society - Hungarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Iceland

      Museums have been open since the end of November 2020. Current restrictions limit gatherings to 50 people, which means that museums are not able to welcome more than 50 visitors at once. Museums carry on to offer educational activities, lectures and other small events to max. 50 people. There is no demand to show proof of vaccination or a test to visit museums.

      Icelandic Museums Association, 2nd week of December

       

    • Ireland

      Museums are allowed to be open since 10 May 2021. They are subject to safety measures such as social distancing and mandatory face coverings. Contact tracing is in place, as are restrictions on group size (to a maximum of 6 people from a family or social unit allowed per booking).

      Organised indoor events including entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events, may take place up until curfew 20:00 where all patrons are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 or accompanied minors (under 18). The curfew is in place until end of January 2022. Non-vaccinated people may not join such indoor events. Indoor entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events must be fully seated. Attendance should be limited to 50% of venue capacity or 1,000 attendees, whichever is the lower.

      Irish Museum Association, 1st week of January 2022

    • Italy

      To visit a museum, people must show their so called Green pass, which proves vaccination, recovery or negative test. Schools are not allowed to do extra-school activities  - museums visits and laboratories included.

      ICOM Italy, 4th week of December 2021

    • Latvia

      Visitors need to present a Covid-19 certificate of vaccination or recovery before entering the museum (open since 15 November 2021). Children under 12 years of age may enter without a certificate, but from 12 years children need to present a Covid certificate or Covid test result. Until 28 February 2022, museums may not accommodate groups of school children or facilitate face-to-face educational classes.

      Latvian Museums Association, 1st week of January 2022

    • Luxembourg

      Museums are open to the public under following conditions:  

      • group visits (guided or not) and any other activity organized at the museum are to be considered as gatherings and are therefore limited to a total of 10 participants (plus tour guide), respecting the 2-meter social distancing rule, 
      • mass gatherings (max. 100 people) are subject to the conditions of seating and a guaranty of minimum distance of two meters, 
      • the wearing of mask (which the visitor is required bring) throughout the visit as well as hand disinfection at the entrance of each exhibition space are compulsory, 
      • registration by phone or email is mandatory prior to all activities or group visits. 

      The National Museum of History and Art, 3rd week of February 

    • Lithuania

      Museums, which have been open since 15 March, need to adhere to some restrictions considering mask and Covid passport requirements. Additionally, people need respect safety distance of at least two meters.

      Lithuanian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Malta

      Museums have been able to keep open since June 2020. Visitors are asked to wear a mask and their temperature is checked before entering. Large groups are not allowed.

      Heritage Malta, 1st week of December 2021

    • Norway

      Starting 15 December, people must wear masks at indoor events and maximum 20 unseated/ 50 seated people may participate. People must be always at a minimum of one meter distance from each other.

      Currently, there is no requirement to show a corona passport to enter museums or participate in other cultural events.

      Norwegian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Poland

      Museums (open since 4 May 2021) can work almost normally with some sanitary restrictions and according to the guidelines prepared for them by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. For example: 1 person per 15 m2 and visitor have to wear masks.

      National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, 4th week of December 2021

    • Portugal

      People have been able to visit museums since April 2021 providing that they wear a mask. In the case of concerts and theatre performances in museums, visitors are obliged to show a digital vaccination certificate. No certificate is required to visit the exhibitions.

      General Direction Cultural Heritage Portugal (DGPC), 1st week of December 2021

    • Russia

      Some museums only sell tickets online due to Covid-19. Visitors must wear masks and there are visitor number limitations. Also, some museums let 30% of employees work remotely and most museums have been covid-free.

      ICOM Russia, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Slovakia

      People must be vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 to visit museums, which reopened on 10 December after having to close on 29 November.

      Union of Museums in Slovakia, 2nd week of December

    • Slovenia

      Museums in Slovenia are open since 6 February. Visitors must show an EU Digital Covid Certificate of vaccination or proof of recovered or a negative test no older than 48 hours together with a personal ID. One person per 10 square meters is allowed and momentarily museums avoid bigger public events.

      Slovenian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Spain

      Since June 2020, museums and exhibition halls, publicly or privately owned, have been able to host public visits to the collection and temporary exhibitions and carry out cultural or educational activities. They must respect the general prevention and hygiene measures and trying to maintain a safety distance interpersonal.

      The use of a mask is mandatory and safety distance must be respected. The number of visitors per group visits is set by the management of each centre. Museums must provide alcogel and other material necessary to ensure good hygiene.

      Periodic ventilation must be carried out in the facilities at least once daily to allow for complete renewal of the air.

      It is recommended to promote those activities that avoid physical closeness between the participants, prioritizing autonomous activities. The design of educational, scientific and informative digital resources has been strengthened, which allow the function as educational institutions and transmitters of knowledge by means other than face-to-face ones. As far as possible, the use of the exposed elements designed for tactile use by the visitor is disabled. In the case of audio guides, their use is allowed as long as they are disinfected after each use by the service provider.

      Spanish Association of Cultural Heritage Managers, 3rd week of December 2021

       

    • Sweden

      Museums are open. There is no demand to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test. There are overall recommendations to keep distance. For event with over 100 people, proof of vaccination is required. 

      Swedish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

       

    • Switzerland

      Museums are open (1 March 2021) and starting from 20 December 2021, visitors must follow the so called 2G rule, which means that only people who are vaccinated or recovered may visit museums. Masks are mandatory.

      Swiss Museums Association, 4th week of December 2021

    • The United Kingdom

      Museums are open since the spring, but there are new public health measures in place that mean that mask-wearing in museums is once again required across the UK.

      People need to show proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test via their NHS Covid Pass before entering venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor events with more than 500 people.

      UK Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

  • Statement & advocacy
    • Austria

      The Austrian Museus Association was successful in advocating for museums to be treated as trading companies, which means that if the shops are open, museum are allowed to stay open as well.

      Austrian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Belgium

      Altough most museusm are open there is a need to share the knowledge and useful experiences gained over the past few months beyond the walls of the institutions.

      Based on this philosophy, a lot of work has been done in the past period on a 'sector guide for museums' that maps out the COVID measures and provides the necessary guidelines and tips. The guide highlights the applicable measures, is conceived as a dynamic document and will be kept up-to-date whenever necessary.

      The sector guide, or Vademecum with recommendations for the basic operation of museums during the Covid19 pandemic, includes guidelines, tips and examples specifically developed for the sector, which encompass all cultural heritage operation and delve deeper into the public services that museums provide on the basis of their five basic functions: presenting and guiding, recognising and collecting, conserving and safeguarding, researching and participating.

      ICOM Belgium Flanders, 1st week of June

    • Estonia

      The Estonian Museums Association and the Ministry of Culture stood behind an exception to the demand for vaccination from 12 years to allow more children to join education activities at museums. The exception allows children up to 19 years old from one class to join educational activities without having to be vaccinated. School children are tested in school 2-3 times per week anyways. However, the school groups cannot be mixed.

      Estonian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Finland

      The Finnish government has announced that cultural funding will be cut by about 6% from 2023 onwards. This is due to the effects of covid-19 and structural changes in the financial system. Much of the cultural funding has come from lottery funds, which are declining due to Covid-19, but also in the long run for several reasons. 

      Finnish Museums Association, 1st week of June 2021

    • Germany

      The German Museums Association systematically advocated for the need to keep museums open until the reopening in spring. Now the Association keep in touch with politicians and will be ready to react publicly if museums must close again.

      German Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Greece

      Museums in Greece are an integral part of the country’s tourist product throughout the year. Therefore, both the government in general and the Ministry of Culture in particular have supported the opening and normal operation of the museums strongly and are still doing everything to that end.

      Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Latvia

      The Latvian Museums Association is in regular dialogue with the Ministry of Culture and other bodies to remind them that museums are safe places during a pandemic and that museums can provide the necessary measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

      Latvian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Poland

      The decision to reopen museums was published in the Government Order from 6th May 2021 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic. Reopening of museums was a part of the plan of gradual reopening of different field of public activity. https://dziennikustaw.gov.pl/D2021000086101.pdf (in Polish).

      Decision of time and scope of museum reopening was given to the director of each museum. Museums gradually reopened from 6 May 2021 until the middle of May 2021.

      National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, 4th week of June 2021

    • Slovakia

      The Union of Museums in Slovakia advocated for the Department of Culture to allow museums to reopen in connection to the relaxation of some measures in Slovakia. They were successful since museums are excepted from the national lockdown and were able to open again on 10 December.

      Union of Museums in Slovakia, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Sweden

      The Swedish Museums Association stand behind a proposal of introducing vaccination passes rather than again receive recommendations to close as in November 2020. In the proposal (page 55), the government especially mentions the importance of ensuring access to museums even during the pandemic. Vaccination passes would ensure access for most of the population, whereas if museums must close no one is able to visit.

      Swedish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • The United Kingdom

      The main problem the sector is facing is a loss of public confidence in being out in public spaces. The UK Museums Association is monitoring the situation and pushing the government for emergency support since income is decreasing with the decreasing visitor numbers.

      UK Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

  • Museums’ response & status
    • Austria

      People still visit museums, but numbers are declining, tourists are missing, people have other obligations or they are afraid to move in public.

      Austrian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Bulgaria

      Bulgarian museums continue to organise exhibitions and provide their audience with the opportunity to meet with cultural heritage, but the number of visitors has decreased significantly. However, this and the pandemic at large is likely to provoke museums to improve, be flexible, apply new methods and ways to reach their audience, to continue to fulfil their mission.

      Bulgarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December

    • Croatia

      Museum staff have adapted their ways of working based on the epidemiological measures, by working in shifts or from home.  While they are allowed to operate physically, Croatian museums continue offering different kinds of online experience – for instance presentations, workshops and exhibitions.   

      Croatian Museums Association and ICOM Croatia, 2nd week of February 

    • Cyprus

      In general, the number of visitors has increased slightly compared to the first 6 months of 2021. Most museums have proceeded with their planned temporary exhibitions which indicates that they are optimistic that people will visit. Currently, the private museums struggle with several cancellations by schools since they are not allowed to visit. Many family events are also cancelled due to low participation.  

      Costas and Rita Severis Foundation (Centre of Visual Arts and Research), 3rd week of December 2021

    • Czechia

      Museums stay open and many of them are prolonging the duration of exhibition dates and they are trying to open new exhibitions despite reduced budgets. Some of the new exhibitions focus on Christmas traditions. As Advent and Christmas markets are banned, museums are also cancelling a lot of events for the public. However, in general museums are trying to stay open as much as possible and attract visitors (especially before and during Christmas). Several events are still published online and have been since the beginning of the pandemic.

      Czech Association of Museums and Galleries, 2nd week of December 2021

       

    • Estonia

      Generally, visitor numbers in Tallinn are still low compared to 2019 figures since international tourism still is considerably low, whereas smaller museums in other regions are faring better since the local tourism has increase

      Estonian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Germany

      The control of the electronic health pass is a logistic challenge, but the museums are well prepared and have already implemented a wide range of sanitary rules to offer a safe visit experience.

      Museums are experiencing low visitor numbers and the Museums Association expects between 40-60% decrease in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019. Furthermore, the apprehension that the virus will be active in the next years have a negative impact on planification. The fear of budget cuts to absorb public spending during the pandemic makes it difficult to keep an optimistic lookout at the future.

      German Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

       

    • Greece

      Museums in Greece are seeing a decrease in visitors compared to 2019, as was expected. But there is an increase when compared to 2020.

      Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Hungary

      A recent research report by Marianna Berényi on the effect of the pandemic on the museum sector found that the number of visitors in 2020 decreased by 63% compared to 2019.

      Pulszky Society - Hungarian Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Iceland

      Museums in Iceland are doing better in 2021 than 2020 since there was an increase in tourists in 2021. For instance, the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður increased its visitor number with 74% compared to 2020. However, the 2021 visitor number is still 25% lower than in 2019.

      Icelandic Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Italy

      Most of the “big” museums adopted a mandatory online booking and are able to manage a large number of visitors; numbers are obviously lower than before pandemic, but especially due to the reduction of tourists. Generally speaking, State museums have been more resilient, thanks to direct governmental support, while small and medium-sized museums of different management (e.g. local administration, private subjects, etc.) suffered more; a few of them closed and didn’t reopen. In any case, the actual situation is more affected by a reduction of tourism, than by Covid-19 regulations.

      ICOM Italy, 4th week of December 2021

    • Latvia

      The number of visitors has decreased, especially since school children groups are not allowed to visit museums as well as the need to check Covid certificates. Museums are careful when planning events since the future is unpredictable.

      The drop in visitors is affecting museums whose revenue comes mainly from tickets and different events or educational programs. Municipal museums are in a slightly better situation, but there are signs that several municipal museums need to reduce the planned 2022 budget by 5 percent.

      Latvian Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Malta

      Visitor numbers are looking promising despite the circumstances. State museums in Malta close once a week to contain costs and reduce losses.

      Heritage Malta, 1st week of December 2021

    • Poland

      All museum in Poland have decided to reopen.

      National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, 4th week of June 2021

    • Portugal

      Museums registered a sharp drop in visitors this year. From January to June, national museums had a 68% decrease in the number of visitors compared to the first 6 months of 2020. However, there is no news of museum closures. As most Portuguese museums are public, the State and municipalities have contributed to their maintenance and payment of salaries.

      General Direction Cultural Heritage Portugal (DGPC), 1st week of December 2021

    • Russia

      Most of the museums have since the lockdown reopened. The number of visitors is less than pre-pandemic because of vaccination rules and self-isolation, but visitors still come. 

      ICOM Russia, 2nd week of December 2021

    • Sweden

      Visitor numbers are still low in bigger cities although numbers increased in October/ November. Generally, numbers are 50-80% lower compared to 2019. The new variant Omikron has reduced the optimism that the Swedish museums had sensed, but they have learnt to adjust and adapt.

      Swedish Museums Association, 3rd week of December 2021

    • Switzerland

      In general, museums are experiencing a drop in attendance since last year. Visitors who are not vaccinated cannot go to the museum and the drop in tourism has also had an affect on the attendance figures.

      Swiss Museums Association, 2nd week of December 2021

Interactive map

For a visual overview of the situation for European museums, please visit our map of closures and reopenings. Find information about the current situation for museums as well as an archive of the past year. The map has been created with the help of our members.

Visit the map

We welcome updates and additions