The gallery will only be open from 2 to 6.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6.30pm, (last entrance 5.30pm) to allow for regular deep cleaning. Other measures include “distance markers” in front of masterpieces and a maximum of 450 people at any one time in the museum, a reduction of 50 per cent from the previous maximum. This guarantees an average of 44 square metres of space per person.
Temperatures will be taken before entering and those with body temperatures above 37.5 degrees will be denied entrance. Disinfectant gel will be available to visitors. The use of a mask covering both mouth and nose is obligatory, and it is also required that visitors maintain a distance of 1.80 metres between themselves and others at all times. Groups cannot exceed 10 people and tour guides must always use the whisper system (microphone and earphones), regardless of the number of members of their group. The ticket price remains unchanged. The first and second floors will be open, while any areas which cannot ensure social distancing will remain temporarily closed.
Director Eike Schmidt commented, “Only four times in the last century has the gallery had to close its doors. It happened during the Second World War; then in 1966, when there was the flood, and in 1993, after the mafia bombing in via dei Georgofili. Every time the Uffizi have reopened, more beautiful and magical than before. It will be like this once again. The Uffizi are the symbol of Florence that rises stronger from the dark and from the crisis.”
If you can’t experience a guided tour, see this short guide to the highlights by TF’s Alexandra Korey as a helpful way for non-art experts to understand the paintings.