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Safety Standards and Checklist: Museums and Cultural and Historical Facilities and Guided Tours

Reopening Phase III mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for Museums and Cultural and Historical Facilities and Guided Tours. Permitted to open: Phase III, Step 1, July 6th.

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety are issued to provide owners and operators of these facilities and workers and visitors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as Museums re-open. Facilities addressed under the term “Museum” below include Museums, Aquariums, and indoor and outdoor Historic Spaces and Sites, and Guided Tours.

Table of Contents

Key Documents for Reopening

Linked below are three important documents:

  1. Workplace Safety Standards - Complete and official sector-specific standards for reopening Museums, Cultural and Historical Facilities, and Guided Tours (all workplaces must also comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces)
  2. Protocol Summary - User friendly summary of the standards and best practices
  3. Checklist - Printable tool to help businesses perform the required self-certification for opening and ensure compliance with the sector-specific standards 

Social Distancing

Each museum must monitor visitor entries and exits and limit occupancy for each building open to the public at all times to:

40% of the museum’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder

Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 8 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space

In any case, no enclosed space within the facility may exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet

All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:

Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install physical barriers for ticket counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the museum if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)

Mark exhibit rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Post clearly visible signage regarding the need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing and not to enter a room until that distancing can be maintained

Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms / exhibits, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing

Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability

Encourage the use of electronic versions of guide materials (such as brochures and gallery guides) where possible. All physical guide materials (such as paper brochures, gallery guides, and audio guides) must be discarded or sanitized between use. Any self-serve racks must be removed, and all materials must be handed out individually

Group Size Limitations for Guided Tours

Each tour operator using a bus or other vehicle (such as a trolley, harbor cruise vessel, or duck boat) must limit occupancy at all times to 50% of the tour, vehicle or vessel’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the relevant municipal record holder

Occupancy limitations for boat tours using vessels with open deck space that can be used to accommodate passengers shall be determined in accordance with the formula used to set charter boat occupancy limits, outlined in the Workplace Safety and Reopening Standards for For-Hire and Charter Vessels

Tours of spaces for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record must limit occupancy based on the Indoor and Outdoor Event guidance on the Reopening Website

All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers and workers

Groups of passengers should be separated on the vehicle by empty seats. If that is not possible, vehicles should stagger open rows

Tour operators must limit group size in walking tours to groups of no more than 10 persons

Guides and guests should maintain 6 feet of distance and wear face coverings

Recommended Best Practices

Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC

Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible

Consider using timed entry tickets / reservations and imposing time limits for visits to ensure compliance with occupancy limits

Recommend limiting tour parties to members of the same household only

Hygiene Protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances, exits, and throughout floor areas for both workers and visitors

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Disinfect shared equipment before use by another employee

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

Staffing and Operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Facilities should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Maintain a log of workers and visitors to support potential contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information)

Workers must not appear for work if feeling ill

If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and visitors of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces

Interactive exhibits (i.e., touch and feel exhibits, play areas) should be closed or be configured with 6 feet of distancing clearly marked and receive frequent cleaning and disinfection. Hand hygiene station (soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) should be accessible to promote safe use

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include:

Restaurants: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Gift shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance

Performance venues: Must follow the latest performance venue guidance

Events: Must follow the latest indoor and outdoor events guidance

Recommended Best Practices

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, ticket counters, staff break rooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance

Recommended Best Practices

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Checklist

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Ensure >6ft  between individuals

Each museum must monitor visitor entries and exits and limit occupancy for each building open to the public at all times to:

40% of the museum’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder

Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 8 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space

In any case, no enclosed space within the facility may exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet

All occupant counts and calculations shall include customer, staff, and other workers

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:

Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install physical barriers for ticket counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the museum if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)

Mark exhibit rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Post clearly visible signage regarding the need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing and not to enter a room until that distancing can be maintained

Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC

Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms / exhibits, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing

Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability

Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible

Consider using timed entry tickets / reservations and imposing time limits for visits to ensure compliance with occupancy limits

Encourage the use of electronic versions of guide materials (such as brochures and gallery guides) where possible. All physical guide materials (such as paper brochures, gallery guides, and audio guides) must be discarded or sanitized between use. Any self-serve racks must be removed, and all materials must be handed out individually

Group Size Limitations for Guided Tours

Each tour operator using a bus or other vehicle (such as a trolley, harbor cruise vessel, or duck boat) must limit occupancy at all times to 50% of the tour, vehicle or vessel’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the relevant municipal record holder

Occupancy limitations for boat tours using vessels with open deck space that can be used to accommodate passengers shall be determined in accordance with the formula used to set charter boat occupancy limits, outlined in the Workplace Safety and Reopening Standards for For-Hire and Charter Vessels

Tours of spaces for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record must limit occupancy based on the Indoor and Outdoor Event guidance on the Reopening Website

All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers and workers

Groups of passengers should be separated on the vehicle by empty seats. If that is not possible, vehicles should stagger open rows

Tour operators must limit group size in walking tours to groups of no more than 10 persons. Recommend limiting tour parties to members of the same household only

Guides and guests should maintain 6 feet of distance and wear face coverings

HYGIENE PROTOCOLS

Apply robust hygiene protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances, exits, and throughout floor areas for both workers and visitors

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Disinfect shared equipment before use by another employee

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

STAFFING & OPERATIONS

Include safety procedures in the operations

 

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Facilities should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Maintain a log of workers and visitors to support potential contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information)

Workers must not appear for work if feeling ill

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and visitors of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces

Interactive exhibits (i.e., touch and feel exhibits, play areas) should be closed or be configured with 6 feet of distancing clearly marked and receive frequent cleaning and disinfection. Hand hygiene station (soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) should be accessible to promote safe use

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include:

Restaurants: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Gift shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance

Performance venues: Must follow the latest performance venue guidance

Events: Must follow the latest indoor and outdoor events guidance

 

CLEANING & DISINFECTING

Incorporate robust hygiene protocols

 

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, ticket counters, staff break rooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Phase III Downloads and Translations

Additional resources below, including easy print versions of the sector-specific circular and checklist.

Last updated: July 6, 2020
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