Madrid's famed museums to reopen in early June

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Madrid's famed museums -- the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, which were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March -- will reopen their doors to the public on June 6, the Ministry of Culture and Sports said Thursday in a statement.

The re-opening would go ahead "if the sanitary conditions permit," the statement said.

The ministry said that "each museum has designed a specific plan to manage its reopening," although they will all share several features to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The three museums, which between them make up what is known as the "Golden Mile" of art in the Spanish capital, have been preparing to reopen by putting up transparent shields to protect workers in areas of attention to the public and also designing routes to ensure that visitors all move in the same direction and facilitate social distancing.

They will also have different doors for entry and exit to help maintain the flow of visitors, while protective face-masks and hydro-alcoholic hand gels will be obligatory for anyone wishing to see the Prado's famous works by artists such as Goya and Velazquez, or Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" which is housed in the Reina Sofia.

Madrid is currently in Phase 1 of the Spanish government's four-stage plan to relax the restrictions put into place in March to contain the coronavirus.

Although museums and art galleries could, in theory, open their doors at 30 percent capacity, many have preferred to wait until June when Madrid will hopefully have progressed to Phase 2 and their capacity will be increased. 

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