The NGV, Museums Victoria and State Library announced late on Sunday evening they were closing from Monday 16 March as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus outbreak. The NGV said it intended to open again on April 13. No dates have been announced for the reopening of the museum venues or the State Library.
In a short statement on Facebook the NGV said its decision was made to assist public health services and “ensure the health and wellbeing of our community.”
The gallery said that those who have pre-purchased tickets will be contacted by the NGV shortly.
Museums Victoria released a similar statement regarding the closure of venues including Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, Royal Exhibition Buildings, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and IMAX Melbourne as of Monday March 16.
“The safety and well-being of our visitors, staff, volunteers and the community is our top priority," the organisation said in a statement on Facebook. "We will not announce a reopening date at this time but will be providing regular updates on our website and social media.”
The State Library announced that, “on advice from government, we’ve made the difficult decision to close all public spaces from 16 March, and cancel or postpone upcoming Library programs and events.”
“We’re sad to close our doors but feel this is the best preventative measure to support the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers, as well as the broader community.
“In the meantime, you can continue to access Library collections online, along with thousands of free ebooks, journals and other databases using your Library membership number. If you don’t have a Library membership, you can sign up online, and also Ask a Librarian for help with your research questions or collection inquiries.”
The closures and cancellations follows the Australian government's announcement on Friday advising people not to attend or put on non-essential public gatherings of more than 500 people, including arts festivals, beginning Monday March 16.
For a live list of events cancelled or postponed due to concerns around coronavirus, see Broadsheet's regularly updated wrap.