The Harvard Art Museums will require all visitors to provide either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for admission, the museums announced Tuesday.
The new policy, which will take effect on September 28, is similar to requirements already in place at Harvard University and various performing arts organizations in the region, many of which have recently strengthened their public health protocols in a background of rising infection rates.
But while some museums nationwide have instituted vaccination requirements, Tuesday’s announcement positions Harvard museums as a rarity in Greater Boston, where most major museums simply require patrons to wear masks ( although some, such as the Science Museum, have mandated staff and volunteers be vaccinated).
The Harvard museums, which are operating at reduced capacity and require advance reservations, also require masks indoors.
Under the new policy, visitors under 12 will not need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but must be accompanied by an adult. Proof of vaccination may include a physical vaccination card, a photo of the card, or a “digital vaccination record”. For those who cannot provide proof of vaccination, museums will accept a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the visit (but not a rapid test).
“This new policy will help us provide a safe environment for all of our constituents, as we continue to implement a tiered approach to public health measures,” said Harvard Art Museums Director Martha Tedeschi. , in a press release. “We have worked diligently with Harvard to ensure that everyone on campus and inside our buildings is protected to the highest degree possible.”
The museums did not specify how long the new policy will be in effect.
Malcolm Gay can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.