Health and Safety During COVID-19 main content.

Health and Safety During COVID-19

July 30, 2020

The Museum is working to reopen on September 2 for Members and invited guests and on September 9 for the general public, pending approval from New York State and New York City for indoor museums to reopen. 

The health and safety of visitors and staff is a top priority. A number of changes have been made to ticketing and operating procedures to promote physical distancing and reduced contact, based on guidance from public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies.

Advance Ticket Reservations

  • All tickets, including Member tickets and free and pre-paid passes, must be reserved online.
  • All tickets are for timed entry, from 10 am to last entry at 4:30 pm, to limit attendance.

See Plan Your Visit for more information. 

Five icons illustrate the Museum's COVID-19 policies.

What We’re Doing to Help Keep You Safe

  • Using timed-entry ticketing to limit attendance to promote physical distancing
  • Disinfecting and cleaning to meet CDC guidelines
  • Adding plexiglass barriers at ticket counters
  • Upgrading ventilation systems
  • Marking paths and adding markers to promote physical distancing
  • Limiting elevator and restroom capacity to maintain physical distancing
  • Turning off or cordoning off interactive displays and other touchable exhibit elements
  • Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the building
  • Self-screening, including temperature checks for staff
  • Wearing facial coverings at all times

Health and Safety Requirements for Visitors:

  • Avoid visiting if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with someone infected with or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
  • Wear a facial covering throughout the visit (for all visitors above age 2), remain together with your party, and children under age 12 must remain with adults at all times.
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet (2m) with others outside your group.
  • Use hand sanitizer, which will be available at stations throughout the building.
  • Follow directions from staff and signage for physical distancing, reducing contact, and other guidelines for use of facilities.
  • Follow the Museum’s Code of Conduct.

Temporarily Unavailable

To promote physical distancing and reduced contact, the following are temporarily unavailable:

Services and Amenities

  • Coat check service
  • Drinking fountains
  • Food Court and cafes
  • Planetarium Shop, Cosmic Shop, and Dino Store (but main Museum Shop and special exhibition shops will be open)

Halls, Exhibits, and Theaters

  • Theaters, including the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
  • Touchable and touchscreen exhibits
  • Ross Hall of Meteorites
  • Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth
  • Cullman Hall of the Universe
  • Scales of the Universe

Exposure to COVID-19

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. Currently there is no vaccine to protect against infection. Although the Museum has taken enhanced health and safety measures, it cannot guarantee that you or members of your group will not be exposed to COVID-19 while at the Museum. 

The cooperation and participation of our visitors in following health and safety protocols and requirements is essential to better ensure that all within the Museum remain healthy and safe. Your adherence and the adherence of anyone in your group (including children) to the Museum’s Code of Conduct is mandatory, and noncompliance may result in removal from the Museum.

By visiting the Museum, you voluntarily assume all risks for yourself and minors in your custody and understand that you may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by entering the Museum.