With COVID-19 restrictions slowly easing across the country, the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) will be one of the first of Sydney’s larger cultural institutions to reopen, marking an optimistic outlook for the city’s struggling arts industry.

From Monday June 1, visitors will be able to enjoy a number of AGNSW’s galleries and exhibitions for free including: the collection galleries, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN, Shadow catchersUnder the stars, and Some mysterious process, a new exhibition curated by AGNSW Director, Michael Brand.

Timed ticketing, limited visitor capacity and other hygiene measures will be put in place by AGNSW to ensure social distancing. The picturesque AGNSW café will also open but must operate in line with the state’s 10-person limit on dining capacity.

In addition to art galleries, Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced that other cultural institutions such as libraries and museums will be allowed to reopen, encouraging such venues to “be innovative to ensure strict social distancing is adhered to.” Under the new protocols, museums, galleries and libraries must:

Exclude staff and visitors who are unwell
Limit the number of guests to allow for 4 square metres per person
Provide distance markers for people queuing at service points
Ensure adequate handwashing facilities and/or sanitiser
Provide online ticketing systems for museums and galleries
Not facilitate groups or tours
Enhance their cleaning standards
Enact a 24-hour quarantine for all library returns.

In a closing statement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated; “NSW is home to some of Australia’s best art galleries and museums and I look forward to them reopening to the public.”

To see the latest updates on NSW’s COVID-19 Response, please visit: www.nsw.gov.au

By AJ Lamarque

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