The Louvre has been shut down over concerns of the coronavirus spreading. A statement from the museum said: “The Louvre cannot open this Sunday, March 1. Museum staff met to discuss the health situation and the Covid-19 prevention measures taken by the museum following instructions from the competent authorities.”
It is presently unclear as to when the world’s largest art museum will reopen. Museum staff will convene on Monday with the Exceptional Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee to decide a future course of action.
100 confirmed cases in France
France is rushing to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 2,900 people and infected over 85,000 worldwide since December. At least 100 cases have been confirmed in France. On Saturday, the French government issued an order that cancelled all public gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces. This led to the cancellation of the Paris Half Marathon on Sunday.
The Time spoke to a Louvre employee, who shed light on the situation. “We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” said Andre Sacristin, a Louvre employee and union representative for its staffers. “The risk is very, very, very great,” he said in a phone interview. While there are no known virus infections among the museum’s 2,300 workers, “it’s only a question of time,” he said.
He also explained that museum visitors should be subjected to health checks to protect those around.