Will The Met Gala Be Canceled Because Of Coronavirus?

Conferences, music festivals, concerts, parades — all types of events are being canceled or postponed in an effort to keep the new coronavirus from spreading further. From the NBA suspending its 2020 season to The Bachelorette limiting its international travel for Season 16, a lot is up in the air. In light of these changes, it's fair to wonder whether the 2020 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will go forward as planned. The question is especially poignant for all of the celebrities who look forward to this celebration of fashion every year, like Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, to name a few stylish attendees. 

In case you weren't already aware, this year's event is set for May 4, 2020, meaning there's still time for the Met's Costume Institute to monitor the situation closely before making a final decision about the highly-anticipated affair. As for the final verdict? We explore the chances of cancellation below.

The Met Museum is taking precautions

Normally, the Met Gala is one of only four days per year when the Met Museum closes to the public (the other days are Christmas, New Year's Day, and Thanksgiving). But COVID-19 is changing that, as the Met Museum announced that the museum will be closed beginning March 13, 2020, including its flagship location on Fifth Avenue (where the Met Gala takes place), the Met Breuer, and The Cloisters. "While we don't have any confirmed cases connected to the museum, we believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community, which at this time calls for us to minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible," said Daniel Weiss, president and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a statement to The New York Times.

The buildings will undergo a "thorough cleaning" with the next steps to be announced later, per a museum statement. In addition to the venue itself being closed, the Met Gala could also theoretically be subject to New York's ban on gatherings over 500 people. If you think that means the Met Gala is canceled, though, think again.

Don't count out the Met Gala just yet

According to Nancy Chilton, chief external relations officer of the Met's Costume Institute, said the Met Gala could still take place despite the COVID-19 pandemic. "Right now all museum events are canceled through April. Given the uncertain public health environment, we will review on a rolling basis which museum events beyond April 3 will be canceled or postponed," Chilton told The Cut. "We are hoping for the best, but public health and safety are our first priorities." 

It's interesting to note that in over 70 years of Met Galas, the event has rarely been canceled. It was put on hold in 2001 and 2002, for example, due to sponsorship issues and September 11. The Met Gala provides funding for the Met Museum's entire year of programming, The Cut reports, so it's easy to see why organizers would be reluctant to cancel the event.

If there's anything we've learned from COVID-19, it's that things change. We'll see what ends up happening with the Met Gala and other major fashion and entertainment events! In the meantime, check out all the behind-the-scenes drama you didn't see at the 2019 Met Gala.