Hong Kong closes museums again as COVID-19 cases spike

West Kowloon Cultural District

Hong Kong has decided to temporarily close public museums once again as cases of coronavirus spike. Hong Kong shut down government-run museums in January.

According to ArtNet News, Hong Kong has decided to close its government-run museums again after a wave of new coronavirus cases hit, largely due to returning travellers.

Hong Kong shut down government-run museums in late January, with other institutions following suit. Museums gradually began reopening earlier in March.

However, this came before a second wave of the pandemic, with identified cases of COVID-19 doubling in Hong Kong between March 16 and March 23.

Hong Kong Museum of Art closed on March 23

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為減低新型冠狀病毒的傳播風險及避免人流聚集,香港藝術館及茶具文物館由2020年3月23日(星期一)起暫停開放,直至另行通告,期間所舉行的活動亦會取消。館方將密切留意最新情況並適時檢視有關安排。有關最新消息,請留意政府新聞公告或康文署網頁。 . To reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid people from gathering, HKMoA and Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware will be temporarily closed from 23 March 2020 (Monday) until further notice. During the period, programmes organised by the museums are also cancelled. We will monitor the situation closely and review the arrangements in a timely manner. Please refer to the Government Press Release or the LCSD website for the latest information. . 詳情 Details: https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202003/21/P2020032100739.htm

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The majority of these new cases are of international origin, with residents returning from Europe or North America.

As a result, social distancing measures are back, with the government quickly closing the Hong Kong Museum of Art, City Gallery, M+ Pavilion, and Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

This reversal serves as a cautionary tale to other countries looking to return to normal too quickly and easing restrictions on social distancing.

Museums are reopening more cautiously in Shanghai, China and Seoul, South Korea. Developments in Hong Kong reveal the perils of getting ‘back to business’ too soon.

City Gallery and M+ Pavilion also closed

As museums and galleries close across Europe, the UK and US, more than 180 museums in China reopened last week. These include the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai History Museum, and China Art Museum.

As for theme parks, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park reopened on March 20. It closed to the public on January 24 as part of China’s safety measures.

Shanghai Disney Resort partially reopened with a limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences on March 9.

Japan is also starting to open theme parks and attractions, as well as businesses and schools, after COVID-19 resulted in closures through February and March 2020.