Tate, V&A and Natural History Museum to close

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Hope, the Natural History Museum’s blue whale skeleton, will remain under lock and key until the summer

The Tate galleries and London’s Natural History Museum are closing their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

London’s Southbank Centre has also closed all its venues and the Baltic in Newcastle is to shut later on Tuesday.

The move comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people to avoid public venues.

In a statement, the Natural History Museum said it was “disappointed” but “the welfare of our visitors, members and staff” had to be a priority.

The museum said it hoped to open in “early summer”.

Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives will close on Tuesday evening, and remain closed until 1 May.

All V&A sites will also be closed as of Wednesday, including its main gallery in South Kensignton, the Museum of Childhood, Blythe House and the V&A Dundee.

The Serpentine in London will also be closed until further notice; but the British Museum and the National Gallery in London will stay open.

The British Museum said it was “awaiting further guidance” from the Culture Department on Tuesday.

In a statement, the National Gallery confirmed it “remains open and welcoming visitors as usual, and there are currently no changes to our operations because of coronavirus.

“We are in close consultation with DCMS and will continue to review and follow the advice from Public Health England. The health and safety of our staff and visitors is our absolute priority.”

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