Museums and cultural attractions are closing at an ever-quickening pace in the UK, as is the case across Europe and North America.

Tate and the National Trust, two of the British organisations which welcome the highest number of visitors each year, are now the latest institutions to close their doors to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

“For over 120 years we have been welcoming people to our galleries to enjoy great art from around the world. However, the welfare of our visitors and staff must always come first,” a statement from Tate Galleries read.

The gallery group also confirmed that in line with its belief that “access to art for everyone is a universal human right” it will be “sharing some ideas for how you can still enjoy the best of Tate online”.

Chartered Institute of Fundraising October 2021
National Trust's open air spaces will not be closed to visitors until government guidelines mandate it © Jake F./National Trust

While its portfolio of houses, cafes and shops will be closed, the National Trust’s director general, Hilary McGrady, said the charity will aim to keep as many gardens, parklands and spaces in the countryside and coastal regions open free of charge – for as long as this effort continues to comply with the government’s social distancing guidance.

“The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive,” McGrady noted. “Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.

“While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space and to nature, beauty and history.”

A separate statement from a National Trust spokesperson said: “We are planning ahead, staying vigilant and continue to follow government advice. We are making contingency plans and working closely with partner organisations to ensure we can respond to a range of scenarios as they unfold.”

Both the National Trust and Tate Galleries have pledged to keep the public notified of their plans regarding reopening in the coming weeks and months.

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