Whitechapel Gallery closes its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic
(Credit: Whitechapel Gallery)

Whitechapel Gallery closes its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic

The Whitechapel Gallery has become the latest London institution to close its doors amid the current coronavirus pandemic.

As the UK government steps up its approach to tackle the outbreak and enforce a more aggressive style of social distancing, the Whitechapel Gallery has followed the likes of the Tate and Barbican in closing for a period of time.

“In response to growing concerns relating to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and community of visitors, Whitechapel Gallery is closing today, 17 March 2020 at 18.00, until further notice,” the gallery said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about the Whitechapel closure:

  • All public events and educational activities are suspended until further notice.
  • König Books will close, while our new restaurant Townsend, will offer a home delivery service. More information will be available soon on our website
  • All our staff will continue to work remotely.
  • If you have booked a ticket to Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, or any scheduled public events, please contact us at tickets@whitechapelgallery.org. A member of our Visitor Services team will be glad to discuss your options, whether you would like to transfer your ticket, consider releasing it as a donation, or request a refund.

“While it is with great sadness that we must suspend access to our building at this critical moment, Whitechapel Gallery’s team will continue to work towards a programme that engages with art and ideas in these difficult times.”

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of 16 March, more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.

With more than 6,600 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 150 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.

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