COVID-19 protocol

Protocol, 1 June 2020

Introduction


Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM museum of contemporary art are permitted to open to the public again from 1 June 2020. Over the past few weeks we have been making thorough preparations for the return of visitors, to ensure that they can visit the museum safely and responsibly.

We are delighted to be able to open again. A museum without visitors just does not feel right. Kunstmuseum Den Haag was established to preserve and protect art and to bring it to the people. That second part of our remit has proved extremely difficult during the lockdown. Now we are able to open again, we will be welcoming visitors at an appropriate distance, but no less warmly than before. In these times, a museum can offer comfort, stimulate the imagination, instil wonder and hope, and provide entertainment and new insights. We believe this is vital at a time when the news is increasingly dominated by a single story, and we have literally and figuratively had to withdraw into our own bubble. We intend as always to expand our visitors’ world without the need to cross any physical borders. Art is the ideal way of crossing boundaries.

Kunstmuseum Den Haag is a large museum, with a floor area of no less than 15,000 m2 spread over two floors and many separate galleries. This is a great bonus, particularly now. It means that we can spread visitors through the building, making it perfectly possible to remain 1.5 metres apart. The museum generally attracts a lot of visitors, however, which is not a good thing at the moment. We will therefore be limiting the number of visitors we admit over the coming months, and everyone will have to reserve a time slot. This will enable us to spread our visitors over the time and space available. We will be stepping up our cleaning schedule and enforcing the hygiene rules set out in the official RIVM guidance and various protocols applying to different sectors. We will be doing the same at The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM museum of contemporary art.

Kunstmuseum Den Haag is keen to ensure that a visit to the museum during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is as safe and responsible as possible for everyone. We will therefore be complying with the detailed protocol drawn up by our sector organisation, the Museums Association. This will guarantee your safety, and help to reassure and support visitors who are nervous about coming to the museum at this time.

This safety protocol summarises all the measures we have introduced and alterations we have made to our building. You can also find this information on our website, in our amended general terms and conditions, and in our Frequently Asked Questions. You can therefore rest assured that your visit will be safe and pleasurable, while our staff, volunteers and suppliers are also able to go about their work safely at the museum.

Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM museum of contemporary art are ready for the new reality, and look forward to welcoming you back!

 

2. Principles and conditions


Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM museum of contemporary art, together comprising Stichting Kunstmuseum Den Haag, have adopted a uniform protocol entitled ‘Safety at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM during the COVID-19 outbreak’.

Our protocol is based on:
- the national coronavirus measures and the official guidance issued by the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
- the ‘Protocol for the safe and responsible reopening of museums’

The following also apply:
- in the museum shop: the ‘Safe and responsible shopping’ protocol;
- to our refreshment facilities: ‘Protocol for the reopening of the hospitality industry’;
- to our staff ‘Safety in the office’.

The following general principles apply:
- The health of both visitors and staff are always paramount. We are complying with the national coronavirus measures, and are also applying a number of measures specific to our museums. As a result, some services and facilities are unavailable, or cannot be used in the usual way. Appendix 1 contains more details.
- Sharing art with the public is our purpose and our passion. We are doing our utmost to make this possible, within the applicable guidelines and protocols. Some galleries and parts of exhibitions are not accessible at the moment. Appendix 2 contains more details.
- We regard education and outreach programmes as an important part of our work as museums. Unfortunately, such programmes require group visits, interpersonal communication and/or the use of interactive facilities. We will not therefore be able to offer any educational or outreach programmes (in a group context) until further notice.

Two basic conditions
The government has instructed museums to comply with two basic conditions in relation to health/COVID-19-related symptoms and travel by public transport:

1. We are obliged to enquire about visitors’ health when they book a ticket online or by telephone, and at the entrance to the museum. We will ask you whether you or any member of your household have cold symptoms, a fever or shortness of breath. If so, we may not allow you into the museum. We will be happy to welcome you once you have been free of symptoms for 24 hours.

2. To minimise the pressure on public transport services, visitors are urgently requested not to travel to the museum by public transport, if at all possible. We would advise you to come on foot, or by bike, e-bike, scooter or car if possible.

General coronavirus measures
Some coronavirus measures apply throughout the country. Compliance with these measures is a matter of high priority at the museum.
-  Do not visit the museum if you have cold symptoms (a blocked or runny nose, sore throat, slight cough or raised temperature – up to 38C), a fever and/or shortness of breath. We will be happy to welcome you once you and any other members of your household have been free of symptoms for at least 24 hours..
-  Wash your hands regularly.
-  Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow.
-  Use paper tissues to blow your nose and dispose of them immediately in a closed waste bin, then wash your hands.
-  Stay 1.5 metres away from anyone who is not a member of your household.
-  Do not shake hands.

This safety protocol explains how the general coronavirus measures and our sector-specific rules work in practice at our museums.

Monitoring compliance
We need your help when it comes to compliance with the rules and arrangements that have been put in place in response to coronavirus. We trust we can rely on your sense of responsibility, cooperation and patience.
- Please comply with the general coronavirus measures applicable throughout the Netherlands.
- Comply with instructions on information boards, posters and in leaflets.
- Our staff will be monitoring compliance with the rules.

Temporary basis
This protocol has been adopted with effect from 1 June 2020. The coronavirus measures are subject to continuous change. This means that the protocol and the measures set out in it are also subject to change, possibly even the near future. Some measures might need to be tightened up, while others might be relaxed. We will closely follow national developments in this respect.
Exceptions to the 1.5-metre rule
Visitors are requested to stay 1.5 metres apart at all times, throughout the museum, except in a small number of cases:
- if they are members of a single household/social unit (family, partners or housemates);
- if they are accompanying a visitor in a wheelchair;
- in the event of an evacuation or an emergency, in which case the 1.5-metre rule may be suspended.

Additional and up-to-date information on website
For the latest information, and further details, please visit our website. If you have any questions about your tickets, please mail tickets@kunstmuseum.nl. Any other questions may be mailed to info@kunstmuseum.nl. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Anne de Haij, our staff member with special responsibility for the COVID-19 measures (adehaij@kunstmuseum.nl).

 

3. Staying 1.5 metres apart at the museum


You must stay 1.5 metres away from other people throughout the museum. We are relying first and foremost on visitors’ sense of responsibility in this regard. We have also introduced the following measures and made the following changes to our buildings and facilities.

1. Maximum visitor capacity
We have reduced our maximum visitor capacity so that no more than 459 visitors are present in the museum spaces at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, and no more than 116 at The Hague Museum of Photography / GEM. There is an information panel in each space/gallery indicating the maximum number of visitors who may be in the space at any one time. If this number of people are already present, please wait before entering the space.

2. We are spreading visitors over time
Visitors are advised to purchase a ticket in advance via our website, or by telephone, and reserve a time slot. A time slot is the time at which you may enter the museum. You will have15 minutes from the start of your time slot to enter the museum. If you have a starting time of 10:00, for example, you will be able to enter between 10:00 and 10:15. This 15 minute period gives visitors some flexibility, and should also ensure that they do not all arrive at once, thus preventing too many people from gathering at the entrance. Working with time slots allows us to ensure that there are not too many people in the museum, and that they can maintain the required distance from each other.

3. We are spreading visitors over the space available
We are also spreading visitors as much as possible over the space available. Fortunately, the size of Kunstmuseum Den Haag means this is perfectly possible.

4. No group visits
We are not permitting group visits at present, so no guided tours are available, and there are no school visits. Our educational programmes, including the Child and Family Workshops, have been suspended for the time being. You may only visit the museum as a group if you all belong to the same household (family, partners, housemates). Time slots may not be booked for groups. If you form a group after entering the museum, you will be asked to leave the building.

5. Our staff are there to help you
Our staff will help you, but they may also remind you of your obligation to comply with the general coronavirus measures and the specific measures introduced at the museum. For example, they might for example point out that you are standing too close to other visitors. We kindly request that you cooperate. It is not only in your own interests to comply with the rules, but also those of other visitors and our staff.

 

4. Extra hygiene measures


You must comply with the national guidance concerning personal hygiene at all times, throughout the museum. We have also introduced a number of additional hygiene measures.

1. Compliance with cleaning protocols
Good hygiene and regular cleaning are important to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Working closely with our cleaning company, we will ensure that our building and facilities are cleaned intensively every day, on the basis of the protocols applying to the cleaning sector. We will be monitoring the cleaning process meticulously to ensure cleaning is carried out thoroughly and in accordance with the rules. We ask visitors to maintain a distance from our cleaners as they pass or go about their work, and to vacate any spaces when requested to do so by cleaning staff.

2. Extra focus on points of contact
In addition to the regular cleaning activities at the museum, various points of contact such as door handles, door plates, lift buttons and banister rails will be cleaned once an hour. Payment terminals will also be regularly cleaned, as will the shopping baskets in the museum shop and the tables in the Grand Café. Some non-essential contact points have been taped off.

3. Extra focus on sanitary facilities
Our toilets are accessible, and will be cleaned once an hour. An attendant is present at all times at the toilets in the central lobby. You are requested to follow the instructions of the attendant. The outer doors to all other toilet facilities will be kept open so that visitors can see from outside whether the stalls are occupied. Visitors are requested to clean their hands with soap and water and/or hand sanitizer before and after using the toilet.

4. Protection of visitors and staff in event of contact
Our staff will stay 1.5 metres away from each other and visitors at all times. Our ticket office, cloakroom, information desk, museum shop and catering staff will be wearing gloves. These staff and visitors are protected by a glass or perspex shield or screen.

5. No interactive equipment
We are not currently offering use of any equipment that requires contact or is reused by other visitors. This means no audiotour equipment, headphones or equipment that requires touching or reuse in any other way. Our Wonderkamers, where visitors work with tablets, have reopened. The tablets can only be used by minors, and will be cleaned before and after usage.

6. Our doors are open
There are many doors in our museum buildings. Some of them are now permanently open, so that visitors do not need to touch door handles and plates. Some doors help regulate the climate in the galleries, however. Our climate control systems maintain specific climatological conditions in the galleries in order to protect the art. A number of doors have to remain closed to keep conditions stable in the galleries. You will therefore have to open these doors yourself. We therefore request that you clean your hands at several points during your visits. All door plates will be cleaned once an hour and our security staff in the galleries will also clean the plates regularly using a disinfectant spray.

7. Hand sanitizer
We will be offering hand sanitizer at several points around the museum. All visitors are requested to clean their hands using the sanitizer available when they arrive, and also before and after using the toilet, and before visiting the shop and café.

 

5. Information / communication


Visiting the museum from 1 June onwards will not be the same as it was before 13 March, when the museum was forced to close. This will take some getting used to for many people. Good information and clear communication is therefore important. We will do our utmost to provide you with clear information before, during and after your visit.

Before your visit
Full information on our exhibitions, collection and the special measures we have introduced in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) can be found on kunstmuseum.nl, fotomuseumdenhaag.nl and gem-online.nl. You will also find a link to our ticketing environment. When you book a ticket, you will be asked to indicate the date and time when you would like to visit. We will then ask who will be coming with you, and if you wish to borrow a wheelchair, rollator or stroller.

The ticketing environment also includes information on the general coronavirus measures and the measures applying specifically to our museums. We will enquire whether you have certain symptoms associated with COVID-19. We are obliged to ask all visitors these questions. If you indicate that you or any member  of your household have these symptoms, you will not be able to buy a ticket and we may not allow you to enter the museum. We expect all visitors to answer these questions honestly. We also ask you to agree to our amended term and conditions.

We have set up a special customer service to help anyone who has difficulty booking a ticket, which can be contacted 09.00-17.00, Monday to Friday via tickets@kunstmuseum.nl and 070-3381192. In exceptional cases we can reserve a ticket for you over the phone. You will however need to give a working email address in order to receive your e-ticket.

During your visit
A member of staff will welcome you at the entrance to the museum. From that point on, signs and other markings point out the routes through the museum. Your ticket (and discount card if you have one) will be scanned at the ticket office. All visitors can freely wander through the museum. The maximum number of people allowed in each gallery is indicated at the entrance to the gallery. You may of course always ask a member of staff for help.

Additional measures are explained on an information board at the entrance to the toilet facilities, the café and the museum shop. Some of the rules applying in the café and shop are different or more stringent than those applying in other parts of the museum, as the hospitality and retail industries must comply with coronavirus measures specific to their sector. We request that you comply with the rules for visiting our café and shop, and follow the instructions of staff.

After your visit
You might like to take a look at our websites, where you can view a large proportion of our collection on our Collection pages. You can also take a tour of the Dijsselhof Room, which unfortunately is not currently accessible. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter for the latest news and stories about our art. Finally, after your visit we will send a questionnaire to the email address you used for your reservation. We hope you will take the time to answer our questions about your visit so that we can monitor, evaluate and adjust our measures and the hospitality we offer our visitors.

Core team and staff member with responsibility for coronavirus measures
Every museum is obliged to appoint a core team and a staff member with special responsibility for coronavirus measures. The core team at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague Museum of Photography and GEM museum of contemporary art comprises the following members:

Core team
Benno Tempel (director)
Hans Buurman (deputy director)
Anne de Haij (reopening project manager)
Irma Benliyan (head of marketing and communication)

If you have any questions about our policy and the measures we have introduced to make sure your visit to the museum is safe and responsible, please contact Anne de Haij I adehaij@kunstmuseum.nl

 

6. Accessibility


Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM are keen that everyone should feel welcome at our museums. However, our buildings are not always easily accessible for people using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, or people who have difficulty walking or need special toilet facilities. The coronavirus measures also necessitate new rules concerning movement through the museums.

For detailed information on accessibility, see:
https://www.kunstmuseum.nl/en/visit/accessibility
https://www.fotomuseumdenhaag.nl/en/accessibility


You may indicate in the online ticketing environment whether you will be accompanied by someone who will assist you. This person may visit the museum free of charge, as normal. They must however also have a reservation for a time slot and route.

At Kunstmuseum Den Haag you may borrow a wheelchair, rollator or stroller. We recommend that you make a reservation in advance via tickets@kunstmuseum.nl. Wheelchairs, rollators and strollers will be cleaned every time they are used. Unfortunately, visitors will not be able to borrow a wheelchair, rollator or stroller at the Museum of Photography/GEM.

Finally
We will do our utmost to make your visit to Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM as pleasant as possible. Our efforts are constantly focused on ensuring that you can visit the museum as independently as possible. Our public liaison staff and security staff are well aware of the new measures. They will therefore always be able to help you navigate the building, so please do not hesitate to ask them for assistance.

 

Appendix 1
Changes to facilities and services

To ensure that we can reopen safely and responsibly, some of our facilities and services have been altered or are unavailable on a temporary basis. Further information is available on our website, in our online ticketing environment and at the museum itself.

Buying tickets
You are advised to buy a ticket prior to your visit and online; in exceptional circumstances you may purchase a ticket by telephone. You will be able to book no more than four weeks in advance. All visitors booking tickets must have a valid, working email address. Our customer service staff will be happy to help you navigate our online ticketing environment. If you are still unable to book online, you may reserve a ticket by telephone. It is also possible to buy a ticket at the museum. 

Cloakroom and lockers
All visitors to Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM are requested not to bring a coat or bag if possible. You may take bags up to A4 size into the museum with you. Larger bags may not be taken into the museum. The capacity of our cloakroom is currently limited, as we will be hanging coats and bags far apart so that they do not touch. If  you arrive with a bag larger than A4 size and the cloakroom is full, we regret that you will not be allowed to enter the museum. The cloakroom with attendant at Kunstmuseum Den Haag is open, but the lockers are not in use. The unattended cloakroom and the lockers at the Museum of Photography/GEM are both open. They are situated in a narrow corridor, so only one visitor may enter the area at a time. Visitors must hang their coat themselves. Some of the coat hooks are not in use to ensure there is sufficient distance between coats. A limited number of lockers are available at the Museum of Photography /GEM. You can obtain a disinfected locker key at the ticket desk for a €2 deposit.

Toilets
Our toilets are accessible and will be cleaned once an hour. Toilet facilities are located in several places at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM. At the toilets in the central lobby of Kunstmuseum Den Haag a toilet attendant will monitor the number of people entering. The outer doors to the other toilet facilities will be left open at all times so you can see if they are occupied. Soap is available for you to wash your hands at the toilet, and hand sanitizer is available by the entrance to the toilet facilities. At the Museum of Photography/GEM there is one group of toilets at the entrance of the museum.

Disabled access toilets
Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM have special disabled access toilets. You can find the dimensions of the space on the ‘Accessibility’ page of the website.

Lifts
Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Museum of Photography and GEM are on several floors and levels. You are always able to return to the central lift to move to another floor or level. The lifts at both Kunstmuseum Den Haag and the Museum of Photography/GEM are small and can therefore accommodate only one person at a time, with the exception of a companion assisting a visitor in a wheelchair.

Information desk
Our information desk in the central lobby of Kunstmuseum Den Haag has information on our exhibitions, collection and facilities. Wheelchairs, rollators and strollers are also issued at the information desk. Special plans of the museum for wheelchair users are also available. Staff at the information desk are behind a perspex screen and wear gloves. There is no information desk at the Museum of Photography/GEM. Information is however available at the ticket desk.

Auditorium
Events and lectures were previously held in our auditorium. In view of the ban on events and gatherings of more than three people, the auditorium will be closed until further notice.

Refreshments
Refreshments are available at the Grand Café in Kunstmuseum Den Haag. In connection with the coronavirus measures, it has moved to the Garden Gallery. Coffee and light lunches are available, and our catering team have introduced a number of measures to ensure your visit to the café is safe and responsible. The food available is mostly prepacked, we are using disposable plates and cutlery, staff will be wearing gloves and you may only pay by card. The tables are more than 1.5 metres apart, which means capacity is limited. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. The special rules applying to the hospitality industry are set out on an information board at the entrance to the Garden Gallery. Please be aware that you will not be able to have coffee when you arrive at the museum, as you may have been accustomed to doing in the past. Our Gember restaurant at the Museum of Photography/GEM is open to the public. Special rules and measures have also been introduced here, as explained on the information board at the entrance.

Museum shop
The museum shop at Kunstmuseum Den Haag is open from 1 June. In connection with the coronavirus measures all visitors to the shop must use a basket, which will be disinfected after use. If there are no baskets available, you will be required to wait at the entrance. The number of  baskets equals the maximum number of people who may be present in the shop at any one time. The range of items on sale has been cut, and you will be required to follow a particular route through the shop. Some products are only available behind the counter. We apologise for any inconvenience. For the time being, only a small number of catalogues are available for purchase at the ticket desk in the Museum of Photography/GEM.

 

Appendix 2
Exhibition spaces that are closed or inaccessible to some visitors

As a result of the special measures we have had to introduce, some parts of the museum are not accessible. These are as follows:

Dijsselhof Room
Kunstmuseum Den Haag has a number of period rooms which allow visitors to discover complete interiors in certain styles. One of these is the Dijsselhof Room, designed by Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof. This room is small, accessible only via two small doors and there are heavy curtains in the doorways to keep out the light. Since we are not currently able to guarantee your safety there, it is not accessible at the moment. Our modern decorative arts curator has however recorded a virtual tour of this magnificent room.

Museum Workshop
Our Museum Workshop is located at the back of our permanent Mondrian & De Stijl exhibit. Normally we run educational programmes there at the weekend, including our Kids’ Workshop and Family Workshop. We are currently resuming our educational activities. From 19 July onwards the Kids’ Workshop will reopen on Sundays for children of 5 years and older.