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Health & Safety Information

Please Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are temporarily closed to the public. The penitentiary will reopen for daytime tours on March 12, 2021. Visit this page for the latest information and ways to connect with us online.

The health and safety of our staff and visitors remains our top priority, and we will follow all guidelines issued by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Read on or watch the video at the bottom of this page to learn more about what you can expect during your visit:

Hours of Operation
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are temporarily closed to the public. The penitentiary will reopen for daytime tours on March 12, 2021. From March 12 on, we will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Advanced Tickets Required
All tickets must be purchased online in advance. No tickets will be available at the door. In order to maintain limited capacity and allow for physical distancing, visitors will select a 30-minute entry window.

For daytime tours, timed reservations are not required for -- 

Health and Safety

  • Staff and visitors (ages 2+) are required to wear a face mask over their nose and mouth at all times, even if they've received a COVID-19 vaccine. If you do not have your own mask, you can purchase a fabric mask when you buy your ticket online.
  • Hand sanitizer is available, and visitors will be asked to sanitize their hands before entering the site.
  • Physical distancing is required in any queues and throughout the site. Markers will be present to help ensure that groups of visitors remain 6 feet (2 meters) apart at all times.
  • When possible, doors will be propped open to increase ventilation of enclosed areas.
  • Cleaning, particularly of high-touch areas, has been increased.
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed in admissions and at any other points of contact.
Icons of a mask, two people with six feet between them, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a person speaking wearing a mask

Other Changes to Your Visit

  • To help facilitate physical distancing, we've mapped out several linear, one-way tour routes that feature our most popular programming. When you arrive, you'll be asked to stay on a linear, one-way route as you listen to our main audio tour (audio stops 1-10). The main audio tour ends at The Big Graph and its climate-controlled companion exhibit Prisons TodayFrom there, you can choose to follow our suggested routes or explore any open areas of the penitentiary freely, as long as you keep 6 feet apart from other groups.
  • We are not offering our large guide-led group tours, our public guide-led tour or Hands-On History experiences at this time. All events (e.g. The Searchlight Series) will remain virtual unless otherwise stated.
  • To reduce contact, you may take a photo of a map displayed in front of the penitentiary or view a digital map by clicking here or scanning one of the QR codes on site.
  • All audio guides and headphones are thoroughly sanitized between uses.
  • Our typical photography guidelines remain; however, tripods and other equipment are not allowed on site.
  • Cash cannot be accepted at this time.

Amenities/Museum Store

  • Our museum store is closed. Drinks and other convenience items are available for purchase in admissions using credit/debit cards only. We also have convenience items and limited merchandise for sale at a pop-up store in our Dialogue Space, adjacent to the Prisons Today exhibit. In addition, you can shop our online store.
  • Our bag check is closed, so please consider limiting what you bring with you.
  • Restrooms on site are limited to a three-stall restroom trailer with flush toilets and running water (located near the start of your tour). One stall is ADA accessible. Restrooms are cleaned frequently throughout the day, and physical distancing is required when queuing here or anywhere on site.

Still have questions?
Contact us at [email protected] or 215-236-3300 for more information.


For a closed captioned version of this video, please click here.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner