The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum has installed an innovative sanitation gate to ensure the safety of visitors in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The museum, which will not reopen before July, hopes to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria with the special sanitation gate.
The gate has been installed at the front entrance and was developed in cooperation with the Auschwitz Museum.
It is a modified version of the device initially created at the Silesian University of Technology for use in hospitals fighting coronavirus. It is currently in operation in medical facilities in Silesia.
Sanitation gate used in hospitals fighting COVID-19
The device won one of the prizes in the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“We are happy that we are going to be the first museum in the world to apply this innovative solution,” said Dr Piotr M A Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
“Ensuring the safety of our visitors is of particular importance when the entire world of tourism needs to face the pandemic.
“It is an important step in the perspective of reopening the memorial site and restoring visitor traffic,” he added.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum will not reopen before July
“The gate standing in front of the entrance to the museum differs from similar devices in operation in hospitals and medical facilities in particular taking into account the number of nozzles, disinfection time, as well as the applied disinfectant,” said Dr Anna Wawrzyk, an epidemiologist at the Auschwitz Museum.
“The applied disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide, and not chlorine-based preparation as it is the case in medical facilities,” added Wawrzyk.
In addition, the museum has developed new measures for reopening, including enhanced sanitation, limited attendance, and social distancing.
To help preserve the site of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, German chancellor Angela Merkel previously donated €60 million from Germany.