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USS Constitution in Boston reopens amid COVID-19 pandemic

The USS Constitution reopens to the public on Aug. 7, 2020, after five months of being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

KATRINA MASTROLIA/U.S. NAVY

By JACKSON COTE | MassLive.com | Published: August 11, 2020

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BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — The 222-year-old USS Constitution in Boston, the United States Navy’s oldest commissioned ship, reopened last week to much fanfare.

Like many businesses and historical sites, the ship has been closed since March, when the coronavirus pandemic ramped up across the U.S.

Also called “Old Ironsides,” the USS Constitution started operating again Friday and saw roughly 1,000 people visit the ship during its reopening weekend, WCVB reported.

The ship is now open to the public Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the museum that operates in conjunction with Old Ironsides is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At both locations, restrictions that aim to stave off transmission of COVID-19 are in effect for employees and visitors.

A timed ticket system is in place as well at the USS Constitution Museum, where guests can book visits online. Staff and patrons who are above the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings and stay at least 6 feet away from one another.

Old Ironsides is docked in the Charlestown Navy Yard, which also hosts World War II destroyer USS Cassin Young.

The ship, which survived seven Pacific battles in WWII and two Kamikaze hits, is open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Charlestown Navy Yard grounds are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In mid-March, the USS Constitution closed to the public but offered more than 60 virtual tours over Facebook Live that drew millions of online guests.

Launched in 1797, Old Ironsides has fought in battles against the British and the French as well as pirates off the Barbary coast in the Mediterranean in the 1700s and 1800s.

The tourist attraction is operated as a historic site by the Navy in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service.

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Chief Mass Communication Spc. Elliot Fabrizio conducts a media interview during the reopening of USS Constitution on Aug. 7, 2020.
ALFONSO ORTIZ-LOPEZ/U.S. NAVY