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Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts announces reopening plans

BOSTON — The Museum of Fine Arts, one of Boston’s most popular attractions, plans to reopen at the end of September after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, museum management said in a statement Wednesday.

The Sept. 26 reopening will initially include just the Art of the Americas Wing and two special exhibitions, “Black Histories, Black Futures” and “Women Take the Floor.”

Capacity will be reduced, and all visitors will be required to purchase advance, timed-entry tickets either online or by phone. No tickets will be sold onsite.

Visitors must wear face coverings and undergo a health survey upon arrival. The museum has enhanced its air circulation system, placed hand sanitizer around the galleries and installed signs to encourage one-way foot traffic.

“Museums play a crucial role in providing spaces for reflection, solace and inspiration. We’re grateful to welcome Bostonians back to their MFA and bring a shared experience of art into the lives of many once again,” museum Director Matthew Teitelbaum said in a statement.

The museum also plans to open three new exhibits in October and November that had originally been scheduled to open in the spring.

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UNLAWFUL JOB ACTION

State labour relations officials ruled Wednesday that teachers in a Massachusetts school district engaged in an unlawful strike when they refused to enter school buildings last week for training ahead of the return of students.

The decision by the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board could affect districts across the state where teachers are balking at returning to the classroom over coronavirus fears.

The board in its decision said while it understands the Andover teachers union’s health and safety concerns, the union cited “no legislation, permission, reasonable accommodation or bargained-for agreement that permitted its members without consequence, to unilaterally dictate where they perform their work.”

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, and the Boston Teachers Union have told members not to enter school buildings unless state and local officials can prove they are safe.

The Andover teachers, who are represented by the MTA, refused to enter buildings on Aug. 31 and instead worked outside on laptops. In response, the Andover School Committee petitioned the labour board.

“The CERB decision aligns with the (Gov. Charlie) Baker administration’s attitude of proceeding toward “normalcy” until something tragic happens,” MTA President Merrie Najimy said in an emailed statement. “It calls for risk-taking over prudent planning, and the health and safety issues remain unresolved. That is reckless and shameful. The MTA vehemently disagrees with the decision, and educators will not be silenced.”

The Associated Press

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