TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Palace Museum (NPM) announced Wednesday (March 25) it would limit visitors to 100 at a time at both of its branches to slow the spread of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
Shortly after the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) advice to halt indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people, NPM made a decision to impose strict limitations on the number of guests allowed in the buildings. It said the new restrictions would come into effect immediately at its northern branch in Taipei and southern branch in Chiayi.
NPM stressed that visitors will be asked to remain 1.5 meters apart and that staff have arranged a dedicated waiting area in the museum lobby if the maximum number of individuals allowed is reached. For groups who request gallery tours, museum guides will divide them into smaller groups to lower the risk of cluster transmission, according to CNA.
As a precaution against the outbreak, NPM pointed out that it has canceled or postponed all of its creative workshops, forums, and community events. The opening hours of the museums have also been shortened to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.
While NPM has experienced a huge decline in the number of visitors, with less than 400 per day, the Taiwan museum urged the public to take advantage of its online virtual-reality (VR) exhibitions. NPM's VR experience allows users to see inside its venues and admire several of its popular exhibits, such as the "Meat-Shaped Stone" and "Jadeite Cabbage," reported New Talk.
"Meat-Shaped Stone" (CNA photo)
"Jadeite Cabbage" (CNA photo)