Today, hundreds of artworks are being uncovered or switched back on as the Tate galleries reopen to the public following London’s three-month lockdown.
Current exhibitions include Kara Walker’s timely Fons Americanus, a major Andy Warhol retrospective and Steve McQueen’s ‘Year 3’ project, as well as Aubrey Beardsley’s etchings – all of which are now extended at least until the autumn (‘Year 3’ runs until January 31 2021 at Tate Britain).
Both galleries, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, will look quite different post-Covid to allow for social distancing and the safety of their visitors. Here are the changes you need to know about:
- To allow for adequate space inside the galleries, you’ll need to pre-book a timed ticket ahead of your visit.
- A strict one-way system will allow you to browse some or all of the collections, allowing for access to the toilets, shop and café along the way.
- An enhanced cleaning regime is in place, along with regular hand-sanitising stations.
- Guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
- Cloakrooms are closed – so bring a bag for that sodden rain mac, or you’ll drip all the way round!
- All tills are card and contactless payment only because cash (and cash points) are icky.
Otherwise, it’s the same familiar experience, except now we all know how it would feel to live without it – and, oh boy, there’s no way we’d take this culture fix for granted now.
Want to know what’s opening up next? Check our list of London’s major galleries with reopening dates.
If you don’t feel comfortable visiting a gallery in person just yet, try a virtual tour.