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As Italy begins to ease its lockdown measures, museums and art exhibitions around the country are thinking of new ways to open doors to its visitors in the safest possible way. Florence’s Duomo in particular has come up with an innovative method.
One of Florence’s most frequented sites, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) is the first museum complex in the world to execute the usage of social distancing necklaces for its visitors. The EGOpro Active Tag, developed by the Florence-based company Advanced Microwave Engineering, uses radio technology to sense the measure between two tags. The device will flash, vibrate and softly beep when one visitor accidentally walks within two metres or 6.5 feet of another, signalling they are too close. However, if a person is travelling in a group, the necklace sensors can be pre-calibrated so they can walk without setting them off.
"First in the world to use it in the museum context, this system guarantees the maximum of security and comfort during the visit," said the cathedral officials.
The devices will be handed out free of charge upon entering the museum and will have to be handed back at the end of the visit after which they will be disinfected before being used again. The usage is anonymous and does not track any kind of data.
Timothy Verdon, the director of the Duomo Museum, said that they planned to open the doors of the cathedral, the adjacent Baptistery and the museum to the Florentines “in the upcoming days”.
"Visits to the monuments and museum will be with a reduced number of people. During this initial period, visits will be free. It's a gesture, to welcome people once again," Verdon said.
To ensure the rules of social distancing are being followed, the Duomo is also only allowing a limited number of people at once, something which most of Italy’s newly re-opened museums are also embracing.
Till date, Italy has reported 2,31,000 corona positive cases with 32,955 deaths so far. Italy’s government on 16th May announced that its borders would be opened to European Union tourists, while Italian citizens would be free to travel within the country from June 3rd.
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