Smithsonian Cuts Museum Hours Amid Staff Shortage Due to COVID

The National Zoo and several museums will be open only Thursday to Sunday until further notice

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Some Smithsonian museums in the D.C. area and the National Zoo will operate on modified schedules starting Tuesday and until further notice because of the pandemic's effect on staffing, the institution announced.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, and the Smithsonian Institution Building, known as “The Castle,” will remain open seven days a week, while the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open to the public five days a week, the Smithsonian said.

The National Zoo and other museums in the region, including the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, the Renwick Gallery, the Hirshhorn and the Museum of the American Indian, will operate on a Thursday to Sunday schedule.

The National Air and Space Museum, the National Postal Museum and the Anacostia Community Museum will remain closed.

You can find the complete schedules of the museums here.

“This newly modified schedule reflects the continued need to reduce operations due to ongoing staff shortages while accommodating the needs of the public by opening more museums on weekends,” the Smithsonian said in a statement.

Some museum entrances and exhibition spaces may also be closed during this period.

The Smithsonian had initially announced a modified schedule from Jan 5. to Jan 17., but after evaluating operations and staffing needs during those two weeks, leadership decided to extend the changes, the institution said.

The use of masks is required in all indoor areas of Smithsonian locations for visitors 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status.

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