After closing because of Coronavirus fears earier this week, the Louvre has reopened after museum management held talks with union officials, Louvre staff and the Ministry of Health. Trade union representatives met management officials on 3 March, says a museum spokesman.
The Paris museum was closed on Sunday and Monday after the French government banned indoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people (the museum is closed every Tuesday). Visitor figures at the museum regularly exceed 5,000 daily. The number of reported Covid-19 cases in France has risen to over 190.
Maxence Langlois-Berthelot, managing director of the Musée du Louvre, says in a statement: “Our top priority is to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. At the moment, the [relevant] authorities recommend that museums reopen; I am delighted that we can achieve this.”
National museums in the UK currently remain open, while museums and cultural institutions in Italy’s yellow zone (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto and in the provinces of Pesaro, Urbino and Savona) have re-opened under new governmental measures.
UPDATE: According to the New York Times, museum management has agreed that guards will no longer have to move among the crowds in the Salle des États, the room housing the Mona Lisa. Workers will also be provided with hand sanitiser.