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The Tate museums closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Tate Modern. Photo by London Barking, via Wikimedia Commons.

Tate Modern. Photo by London Barking, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Tate museums group—the largest conglomerate of art institutions in the U.K. gathering Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives—are closing through at least May 1st due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Tate’s trustees and director, Maria Balshaw, decided to close “for the welfare of all our visitors and staff.”

The U.K. government, which hadn’t urged any social distancing or restrictive measures on citizens’ daily lives as of Friday, has since taken a more strict approach following a speech by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. Johnson urged people to work from home and avoid unnecessary socializing or travel.

Many of the U.K.’s leading cultural institutions—including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Serpentine Galleries—have closed. However, the British Museum and the National Gallery remain open—though the latter decided to postpone its eagerly anticipated exhibition of Baroque painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Further Reading: Ongoing Coverage of COVID-19’s Impact on the Art World