NEW ORLEANS (May 18, 2020) – After temporarily closing its doors on March 13, 2020 to protect the health and safety of visitors, staff and volunteers, The National WWII Museum today announced it will officially reopen to the public on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. Following Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ proclamation and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s safe reopening plan, the Museum will operate at 25 percent of its total capacity while enacting new safety measures, including advance online ticket purchases, social distancing guidelines throughout pavilions and galleries, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols.
To help ensure public safety and prevent crowds, timed ticket purchases will be required. It is strongly recommended that visitors pre-purchase Museum admission online in advance. Tickets are now available for advance purchase at nationalww2museum.org.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact in our communities, and while we are grateful to reopen, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our visitors, local residents and entire Museum family,” said Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO. “Over the past eight weeks, we’ve carefully developed reopening guidelines with the help of more than 20 national organizations, peer institutions across the state and country, the American Alliance of Museums and various local health experts. Our Operations staff have also worked hard to gather necessary safety supplies, including masks, gloves, plexiglass sneeze guards, touchless sanitizing stations and directional signage. These new procedures will ensure we’re meeting the highest public health standards, while maintaining the excellence of the Museum’s visitor experience. We’re looking forward to reopening, and it will be particularly meaningful on Memorial Day as we honor our fallen military personnel who valiantly served our country.”
Throughout the initial phase of reopening, most galleries, exhibits and experiences will be available with controlled attendance to allow for social distance between visitors, especially within galleries. At each exhibit, guests will arrive through one entrance, follow a guided path, and leave through a designated exit to prevent visitors from crossing paths. Most interactive exhibits will be accessible with a disposable stylus, which will be provided to visitors upon arrival, and a few will be turned off due to their tactile nature.
Cleaning will be enhanced throughout the Museum, including increased frequency of disinfecting high-traffic surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations will also be available across the Museum’s campus. In accordance with city guidelines, the Museum’s staff and volunteers, as well as all visitors, will be required to wear face coverings during the initial reopening phase; complimentary masks will be provided for all guests who need one. As recommended by state and city officials, seniors and people with serious medical conditions should delay their visit until a safer time.
The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion, L.W. “Pete” Kent Train Car Experience, BB’s Stage Door Canteen, Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience and The Jeri Nims Soda Shop will remain closed during the first phase of reopening. The Museum’s 4D experience Beyond All Boundaries will continue to run hourly at a reduced capacity of 62 people—25% of what the theater can hold—and with theater doors, railings, seats, and armrests disinfected before each showing. The American Sector will open for counter service, and tables will be assembled so guests can eat at a proper distance.
The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center, which has remained open during the Museum’s closure, will continue to provide safe and convenient accommodations for campus visitors along with dining options at Rosie’s on the Roof and Provisions.
As a symbol of gratitude, the Museum is offering free admission to medical professionals and first responders who helped make reopening possible. Additionally, the Museum will offer half-off admission to Louisiana residents on Mondays and will again participate in the Blue Star Museums program by offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve. All three offers will run from reopening through Labor Day (Monday, September 7, 2020).
Guests can find a full list of available Museum experiences and learn more about what to expect during a visit on the Museum’s website. See below for a list of The National WWII Museum’s reopening guidelines.
During the initial reopening phase, The National WWII Museum is asking campus visitors to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Timed admission tickets are available now and should be purchased online prior to arrival.
- Please social distance when you are on the Museum’s campus—maintain a minimum distance of six feet from those outside your party. Look for markers indicating where to stand.
- Museum galleries and exhibits will be capacity controlled. Once you have entered an exhibit, please continue forward in one direction. Do not walk back in the opposite direction.
- We are requiring the use of face coverings for all staff, volunteers and visitors. Free masks will be available at the Museum entrance if you do not have one.
- Hand sanitizer stations are positioned around campus. Please use them and the washing stations in our public restrooms.
- Take the stairs if you can. Elevators are reserved for those who cannot take the stairs. Once inside the elevator, please stand as far apart as possible from others.
- Oversized bags and luggage are not allowed in the Museum’s galleries. Coat and bag check are temporarily unavailable; please only bring smaller items you can carry around campus during your visit.
- In accordance with official city guidelines, seniors and people with serious medical conditions should consider visiting us at a safer time, during a later phase of the city’s reopening.
- If you are not feeling well, please enjoy our online content from home and plan to visit another day.