Art Basel returns to Miami Beach, but with COVID-19 protocols

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Art Basel has returned to Miami Beach, but this time with strict COVID-19 safety protocols. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Art Basel is back in full swing.

Thousands of people from all over the world are back on Miami Beach for the largest art show in North America that includes more than 250 art galleries across Miami. About 80,000 people are expected at shows across South Florida.

It’s a nice change from 2020 when the pandemic forced the show online only.

Not anyone can participate this year. Only those with a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test can get into the Miami Beach Convention Center.

“I think it’s pretty strict,” said Laura Delavega, of Miami.

Larry Leventhal, who traveled from New York, said he is happy they are being cautious.

Art Basel organizers said it’s an all-out effort to prove they can hold a big event and still keep people safe especially now that the omicron variant is in the U.S.

“I have no idea what the effects,” Levanthal said. “Nobody knows yet so I’m not afraid but I am cautious.”

Jamaal Boyce, who also traveled from New York, said he is used to safety procedures.

“In New York, we have more mask mandates than they do have down here so I’m kind of used to it,” Boyce said.

For some, it’s about adapting and changing behaviors.

“It’s just an expected process that we all are going to have to adapt to so I think it’s been a pretty smooth process,” said Miami resident LeeAnn Lester.

Artist Cynthia Cao said she doesn’t mind the protocols either.

“My mind is more focused on the art, focus on the creations,” Cao said. “It is amazing to see how vibrant the space can become.”

Exhibit-goers inside are mostly complying with the mandate.

Organizers have also asked people not to shake hands or hug and to try to maintain social distancing.

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