Why You Won’t Be Able to Retrace Your Steps at This Paris Museum When It Opens (Video)

In order to decrease contact between visitors, museum-goers will abide by a one-way flow of traffic.

As Europe reopens its internal borders, many of the continent’s most famous museums are announcing their own reopening plans this summer. Most are implementing standard health procedures like social distancing, face masks and increased hand sanitizer stations, but the Pompidou Centre in Paris has introduced a more unique approach.

window display at the Centre Georges Pompidou modern art museum

In order to decrease contact between visitors, museum-goers will abide by a one-way flow of traffic.

“We’ve got to make a visit as fluid as possible,” museum director Serge Lasvignes told Reuters. That means no going back to see that painting that was in the previous room. Visitors will only be able to follow the direction of arrows posted around the museum and online admission sales means there won’t be crowding at the ticket desk when the Pompidou opens on July 1.

The majority of visitors to the Pompidou are French, as opposed to some of Paris’s larger and more touristy museums, like the Louvre. The fact that the Pompidou already relies more on domestic tourism than foreign could help it recover more quickly in the coming months.

However, the Louvre is still set to reopen this summer. Doors to the famed museum will reopen to the public on July 6 but crowds won’t be allowed to pour back in. Visitors must book time slots in advance and wear a face mask while in the museum.

In order to encourage repeat visitors, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain will include a three-month membership with the purchase of one ticket bought in June. The cloakroom at the museum is temporarily unavailable, temperature checks will be mandated at the door and visitors cannot enter with bags larger than about 13 inches (35 centimeters).

At the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, visitors who bought tickets and abided by social distancing measures were rewarded with a fresh sunflower, according to The Associated Press.

And after a three-month shutdown, about 1,600 people bought tickets and reserved their spot to see the Sistine Chapel and visit the Vatican Museums.

On a typical summer day, there would be an hours-long wait to get inside the Vatican but this year, visitors can get in quickly and enjoy more space. “Today is a day to celebrate, a day of great joy,” director Barbara Jatta told The Associated Press. “The significance of this reopening is hope. It is a great hope that we can return to the normality.”

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