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Cleveland museums gearing up for summer crowds now that restrictions have been lifted

With health orders lifted, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History are looking forward to higher attendance again.

CLEVELAND — Now that the state's health orders have been lifted, it's time to get back to the things Ohioans love, including the arts.

The Cleveland Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History are inviting everyone to come out for some culture! And, if you’re vaccinated, things will feel a lot like they did pre-pandemic.

"Generally speaking, it's pretty much open like it used to be," Lisa Codispoti, Chief Operating Officer for CMA, told 3News.

Codispoti says vaccinated people visiting the art museum can forget about wearing masks, temperature screenings, time slots, capacities, and social distancing. CMA no longer requires these things, and they hope folks are honest about their vaccine status.

"We trust people to be who they are, and we're going to work on the honor system," she added.

But just across the lawn, the Museum of Natural History will continue to require masks in public spaces, courtyards and the wildlife center.

"Many of our members and our guests have children who are not yet able to be vaccinated," Samantha Gunther, Public Information Officer for the museum, explained.

It's been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows for both museums during the pandemic.

"We closed just like everyone else in March of 2020, then we reopened in July of 2020, then we closed again in November of 2020, and then we reopened again in January of 2021, on Martin Luther King Day," Codispoti said.

Overall, both museums fared well during the height of COVID, citing staff dedication to animal and art care as well as financial support from donors. This summer, CMA will extend its hours, reopen fan favorites like the ArtLens Gallery, and bring in several new, exciting exhibits.

"We have a fantastic show about life in Paris," Codispoti said. "It’s romance, it’s intrigue, it’s love. You can travel the world here in Cleveland."

CMA still recommends unvaccinated people wear face coverings while inside, and all visitors will continue to see Plexiglas barriers in the north lobby, at the information desk, in the store and in the Café.

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