Smithsonian museums are moving to new schedule due to staff shortages

As of Tuesday, the DC region’s Smithsonian museums and National Zoo are switching to a new schedule for the foreseeable future due to pandemic-related staffing restrictions.

The DC region’s Smithsonian museums and National Zoo are shifting to a new timetable for the foreseeable future amid pandemic-related staffing constraints.

With effect from Tuesday, many of Smithsonian’s most popular attractions – including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture – will be open five days a week. Most of its museums will remain open over the weekend.



The National Air and Space Museum, National Postal Museum and Anacostia Community Museum are closed for the time being.

See the full list of schedule changes by museum.

The newly implemented schedule follows a temporary change made earlier this month in anticipation of staff shortages due to a regional increase in the case of coronavirus.

“Smithsonian management evaluated operations, staffing needs, and public attendance patterns during those two weeks,” the Smithsonian Institution said in a press release. “This recently changed schedule reflects the continuing need to reduce operations due to the ongoing shortage of staff, while meeting the needs of the public by opening more museums over the weekend.”

Museums may have limited public entrances during opening hours. Some exhibit spaces may be closed, and the Smithsonian recommends that visitors check in advance for changes by visiting each museum’s website.

Administrators said they will continue to assess staff levels and make adjustments as needed.

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