Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion is reopening Thursday for the first time since the popular Memphis, Tenessee tourist attraction was shut down on March 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The mansion is the second most visited home in the US after the White House, averaging about 500,000 to 700,000 domestic and international visitors annually.
Temperature checks will be required of everyone entering the 13.8-acre estate, purchased by the late ‘King of Rock and Roll’ in 1957, Graceland says.
Staff will be required to wear face masks while visitors will be encouraged to don facial coverings.
However, visitors ‘persistently coughing or sneezing,’ will be required to wear a face mask during their visit, according to Graceland’s COVID-19 protocols.
Restaurants at Graceland will reduce capacity to 50 per cent, under the attraction’s COVID-19 safety measures.
Hand-sanitizing stations have been set up throughout Graceland, as well. The rules apply to all tours, restaurant and retail operations.
‘We are helping Memphis and Tennessee to get back to some sense of normality,’ said Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland Holdings, in a statement.
Presley lived in the home until his death on Aug. 16, 1977. It has been operated as a museum since 1982. Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie is the current owner of the attraction.
There have been 17,359 confirmed cases in Tennessee of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for almost 300 deaths.
Across the US there have been 1,536,993 cases and more than 90,000 deaths.
Visitors come to Graceland every August for an ‘Elvis Week’ in honor of the singing legend. The commemorations typically include a candlelight vigil procession to Presley’s grave site on the grounds.
Graceland also is so popular that the attraction added a $45million extension in recent years. The Graceland Guest House, unveiled by Presley’s widow Priscilla in 2016, is a 450-room hotel that gives guests a chance to stay on the mansion grounds.
The mansion contributes a large portion to Presley’s surviving estate. Presley, one of the highest-earning dead celebrities, earned $39 million last year, according to Forbes.