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Harvard Art Museums Announce New Health and Safety Policy for Visitors

Cambridge, MA,

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test will be required for all visitors in addition to existing indoor mask policy

Announcement follows the recent news of similar measures implemented by a collective of Boston-area theaters

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The Harvard Art Museums announce today a new public safety policy, to go into effect September 28, in a commitment to keep the museums safe for all visitors and staff. The policy requires all visitors to provide proof of vaccination or documentation of a negative COVID-19 test upon entrance to all museums facilities. It applies to all visitors regardless of purpose of visit or length of stay, including patrons and those coming to the museums for business or academic purposes.

Harvard University already has a vaccination requirement and testing protocols in place for all students, faculty, and staff on campus. The new policy for museums visitors follows similar guidelines enacted by many local and national arts and culture organizations, including the recent announcement by fourteen Boston-area theater companies on August 19, in response to renewed public health and safety concerns amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region and the United States.

The new policy for museums visitors was developed in consultation with public health officials at Harvard. It is designed to protect the health and safety of everyone spending time inside the museums, including visitors, staff, and other occupants. The additional measure broadens the museums’ commitment to public safety, which includes an indoor mask requirement already in place at all facilities on the Harvard campus, as well as a health attestation. The museums, one of the few places on campus now open to visitors, are also operating at reduced capacity to maintain smaller crowd sizes. Harvard has rigorous policies and guidelines in place on its campus, and as such, has maintained a low number of COVID-19 cases and a low rate of positive tests throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel strongly about keeping an eye on the evolving public health crisis and making decisions that prioritize the safety of our visitors, staff, and campus community,” said Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. “This new policy will help us provide a safe environment for all our constituents, as we continue to implement a multi-layered approach to public health measures. We’ve worked diligently with Harvard to ensure that everyone on campus and inside our buildings is protected to the highest degree possible.”

All visitors to the Harvard Art Museums age 12 or older will be required to present proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, along with a photo ID. Vaccination documentation must reflect that visitors are fully vaccinated, having received their final dose at least two weeks prior to the day of their visit. Visitors younger than 12 years old do not need to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but must adhere to all other visitor policies and be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult or an adult providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Museums staff will verify proof upon entry. Such documentation will not be collected or stored by the museums. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a CDC vaccination card or a photo of the card, or a digital vaccine record (through an app such as Bindle). Anyone not vaccinated or who is unable to verify their vaccination status for any reason will be required to show documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (not a rapid test) taken within the last 72 hours.

Advance reservations are required to visit the museums, and all visitor policies are posted on the museums website. Policies are subject to change or reevaluation based on the evolving health crisis. Visitors are encouraged to check the museums website before their visit. The new vaccination and negative test requirements will be in place for all reservations made to visit the museums beginning September 28.

For the health and safety of other visitors and museums staff, the Harvard Art Museums strongly urge patrons who have reservations to visit the museums before September 28 to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks in advance and/or to get tested prior to their visit.

About the Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums house one of the largest and most renowned art collections in the United States, and are comprised of three museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums) and four research centers (the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Fogg Museum includes western art from the Middle Ages to the present; the Busch-Reisinger Museum, unique among North American museums, is dedicated to the study of all modes and periods of art from central and northern Europe, with an emphasis on German-speaking countries; and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum is focused on art from Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Together, the collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media. The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of their staff. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and the public. For more than a century they have been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and are renowned for their seminal role in developing the discipline of art history in the United States. The Harvard Art Museums have a rich tradition of considering the history of objects as an integral part of the teaching and study of art history, focusing on conservation and preservation concerns as well as technical studies.

The Harvard Art Museums receive support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Hours and Admission
Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Advance reservations are currently required for all visits. Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors (65+). Free to all visitors on Sundays; on other days, free to: members, all students (with valid ID), youth under 18, Cambridge residents (proof of residency required), Harvard ID holders (plus one guest), active duty military personnel (NEA Blue Star Museums), and individuals with SNAP benefits or an EBT card. On Saturdays, 10am–noon, Massachusetts residents receive free admission (proof of residency required). For further information about visiting, see

Exhibitions, Events, and News
Our Special Exhibitions Gallery presents important new research on artists and artistic practice, and our University Galleries are programmed in consultation with Harvard faculty to support coursework.

All programs, such as lectures, workshops, and art talks, remain virtual through December 31, 2021.

Check out Index, our multimedia magazine, to keep up with what’s happening at the Harvard Art Museums.

For more information, please contact
Daron Manoogian
Director of Communications
Harvard Art Museums

Jennifer Aubin
Public Relations Manager
Harvard Art Museums