The Louvre Museum in France closed its doors due to coronavirus concerns

  • The Louvre Museum in Paris announced on Sunday that it could not open due to a staff meeting regarding the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Louvre representatives confirmed in a statement to Insider that people who purchased tickets for Sunday can get reimbursed by emailing the museum.
  • A museum representative declined to immediately confirm whether or not it will be open to the public on Monday.
  • Of Saturday, there have been 73 confirmed cases of the virus in France, Reuters reported. Worldwide, there have been 86,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide as of Saturday.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Louvre Museum in Paris closed on Sunday due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

A statement from a Louvre Museum communications representative obtained by Insider confirmed that the museum was closed to visitors on Sunday.

The representative declined to confirm whether or not the museum will be open to the public on Monday, but the Louvre noted on Twitter that it would keep its social media followers updated of developments.

"Museum staff gathered to discuss the health situation and the COVID-19 prevention measures taken by the museum following instructions from competent authorities," the museum's statement read. "Despite discussions between museum staff, management and its preventative medicine doctor, the Louvre was unable to open today."

The statement from the Louvre Museum went on to explain that the institution is implementing measures recommended by French authorities to protect employees and future visitors from the virus, including encouraging agents and guests to wash their hands regularly, cough or sneeze into elbows, using "single-use tissues and disposing of them properly," and "avoiding kissing or shaking hands."

"The museum's medical services are readily available to any and all agents with chronic pathologies who would like to consult with them," the statement added. "An exceptional CHSCT (Health, safety and working conditions committee) meeting will be held tomorrow, Monday, March 2."

The museum representative added in an email to Insider that visitors can get ticket reimbursement for pre-purchased tickets for Sunday by emailing [email protected], which was also mentioned in a tweet from the Louvre's Twitter account.

The museum — home to the Mona Lisa and arguably the world's most renowned selections of art — apologized in a tweet on Sunday morning about its closure, saying that a staff meeting about COVID-19 prevention efforts caused the institution to stay closed on Sunday. It has not been made clear if the museum will be reopened Monday. 

A Louvre employee, Andre Sacristin, told the Associated Press that staff at the museum were fearful of the virus spreading, citing the reality that the museum enjoys tourists from around the world.

"We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere," Sacristin told the AP.

Sacristin also told the AP that the museum plans to hold another meeting on Monday for representatives of it union and museum management to discuss further virus prevention procedures.

On Saturday, French health minister Olivier Veran announced that public events with more than 5,000 people in attendance that are held in a "confined space" would have to close due to the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

The announcement about the Louvre's closing comes as France reported 73 confirmed cases of the virus as of Saturday, according to Reuters. Last week, a 60-year-old French citizen was the European country's first to die from the coronavirus. 

Worldwide, as of Saturday, there have been 86,000 confirmed cases of the virus. There have been 2,900 worldwide deaths from the virus as of Saturday.

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