January 04, 2021
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center welcomed visitors Monday for the first time since November as Philadelphia's COVID-19 restrictions relaxed.
Several other indoor sites at Independence National Historical Park, including Independence Visitor Center, Old City Hall and Congress Hall, also reopened to the public.
Additionally, many museums are set to reopen later this month.
The Franklin Institute will reopen Wednesday, while the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Penn Museum and the Museum of the American Revolution will resume operations Friday. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will reopen Jan. 21.
Eastern State Penitentiary will open back up in March. The Rodin Museum will resume business sometime this spring. An exact date has not been announced.
The National Constitution Center will remain closed until further notice due to the public health crisis.
When returning to the museums, visitors will be required to follow several COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, such as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.
Museums were shut down in November for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions implemented by Philly officials in response to a spike in coronavirus cases.
City officials announced late last month that museums could resume operations as soon as Jan. 4.
"With the advent of a new year, we are grateful for the opportunity to welcome our visitors once again," leaders from six cultural institutions — the Academy of Natural Sciences, Barnes Foundation, Museum of Art, Eastern State Penitentiary, Rodin Museum and Academy of Fine Arts — said in a joint statement.
"Despite the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience of the cultural sector shines through and cultural experiences remain essential to the well-being of the human spirit, providing inspiration, enrichment and rejuvenation. Undoubtedly, the role of Philadelphia’s museums and cultural organizations will be a critical one in the region’s recovery."