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1 Mar, 2020 16:13

Louvre closed over coronavirus concerns, leaving blindsided visitors freezing outside

Louvre closed over coronavirus concerns, leaving blindsided visitors freezing outside

France’s Louvre unexpectedly kept its doors shut on Sunday, saying management is discussing the Covid-19 situation. The Twitterati were amused, unlike hundreds of people freezing in the street instead of gazing at the Mona Lisa.

To be fair to the museum, they were themselves apparently caught off guard by “ministerial instructions transmitted by the competent authorities,” as a statement explained, prompting the museum to remain closed on Sunday.  Three hours after the announcement, the museum said that it would not open at all on March 1, and left people in the dark regarding Monday.

The closure drew quite a few snickering comments online, as people responded with pictures of masterpieces with medical masks. 

But the hundreds of people stuck outside in the cold were not so amused. Many initially thought the long line may have been due to one of France’s notorious strikes. Later complaints targeted the failure to communicate what was going on.

The Louvre is France’s biggest tourist attraction, so it’s safe to assume that many of the people affected were foreign tourists whose holiday plans were disrupted by the response to the epidemic.

France has around 100 confirmed cases of the infection, including at least two that ended in death.

On Saturday, the government announced a ban on mass gatherings of more than 5,000 people, hoping it would help stop the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The Louvre receives around 15,000 visitors a day.

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