Houston Museum of Natural Science reopens with new rules for guests

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- The Houston Museum of Natural Science welcomed back visitors today, but a lot has changed since their last day of operation on March 17.

All guests over 10-years-old, unless they have underlying health issues, must wear a mask. There are more sanitizer stations around the property and new shields have been installed to separate customers from employees at ticket booths and certain entry points.

"This opening is totally by the book," said associate curator David Temple. "At this point, we're operating at 25-percent capacity."

Temple says that equates to approximately 1,000 visitors a day at the museum. In addition to fewer people, they've also cancelled all upcoming lectures, disabled any touchscreen displays and added signs and stickers that encourage social distancing. You also see more staff stationed throughout the museum.

"The staff in here help people socially distance," said Temple. "Just to remind people to maintain their distances and get people through any bottlenecks in the hall."

The Cockrell Butterfly Center has also reopened, but will operate at a smaller capacity. Some elements of the museum will remain closed, such as their planetarium and theatre.

"Any experience where you have a lot of people in one space is closed at the moment."

Guests who wish to visit the museum are encouraged to buy their tickets online and print them at home. Visit HMNS.org for museum hours and information.
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