For art and culture lovers, at least, the end of lockdown is well and truly in sight - the National Gallery of Australia will be opening its doors to the public again on Tuesday June 2.
The National Museum of Australia is following suit, opening Tuesday with visitors able to finally see the landmark Endeavour exhibition that was two weeks from opening when lockdown was announced.
In line with Chief Minister Andrew Barr's announcement this week, the gallery will allow just 20 visitors into the building at a time, using a timed ticketing system.
Director Nick Mitzevich said it was important that the gallery get back to its "core business" as soon as possible.
"Art has been a salvation for many people in these uncertain times and we know immersion in art and culture will play an important role in bringing our local and national community back together," he said.
"We didn't have any pre-determined plans about when, we just wanted to ready ourselves, and our whole business is about visitors, and so we're just anxious to just bring people into art - we're ready to roll."
The gallery will be booking two sessions an hour, with a defined path through the gallery, with several spaces still closed off.
On Thursday afternoon, conservators and curators were busy unpacking works and uncloaking many of the paintings that were covered up for the lockdown duration.
The most recent blockbuster, Matisse & Picasso, will remain packed away; it was just days from closing when the country-wide lockdown came into force, and will no longer be on display.
Some of the works remain in crates in the gallery's storage ready to be sent back to their many overseas lenders, while others were able to be sent back to their owners in time.
"These things are beyond our control," Mr Mitzevich said.
"It was not possible to keep an exhibition that had been partly dispersed back on display."
But he said there would be plenty on offer for visitors from next week, including works by But Mr Mitzevich said there were still plenty of displays, including works by controversial Chinese contemporary artist Xu Zhen.
"What's exciting is that visitors might have to walk through parts of the building that may not have been on their radar, so they may see things they wouldn't normally see," he said.
"The experience will be time-ticketed so that there will be a period of being able to spend time with works of art without crowds.
"You might have some moments of absolute intimacy with works without any distractions. So that's a positive about this. As the government eases restrictions, our opening procedures will change and evolve."
National Museum director Mathew Trinca said he was thrilled that visitors would get to see the major exhibition marking 250 years since Captain James Cook arrived on Australian shores in the Endeavour.
The museum will used timed ticketing for the exhibition, and will have some major new objects in the central atrium, but will keep permanent galleries closed for now.
"We will progressively open parts of the building, especially as we feel assured about the health and safety of visitors but also of our staff," he said.
"Frankly I think all governments have moved really judiciously to try and balance public health concerns as well as wanting to start on the road to recovery. We're pleased to be doing our part, and to be returning even in this limited way.
"By being open you affirm a sense of normalcy in life."
The National Library is also opening mid-next week, on June 3, and staff are working on updating its online booking system so that visitors can order books in advance of the opening.
Director Marie-Louise Ayres said the system would be up and running from Friday morning, and would be taking bookings of up to three hours on weekdays.
"We are re-opening the library step-by-step, with safety at the forefront of our plans," she said.
"All visitors will be working in our beautiful Special Collections Reading Room, which will be the first area of the library to open during Step Two of the Canberra Recovery Plan.
"I am looking forward to welcoming you all back into our building over the next few months - we have missed you."
The National Portrait Gallery will open a few days later, on June 6, while the National Archives of Australia will reopen in mid-July, and the Australian War Memorial on July 1.
The memorial will also have timed ticketing place, including for the daily Last Post ceremony.
Memorial director Matt Anderson, who began his tenure in early April in the midst of the lockdown, said staff were looking forward to welcoming visitors again.
"I can't wait to personally welcome visitors and am keen for the memorial get back to what it does best - offering a rich and emotive museum experience which honours the commitment and service of those who have worn, and continue to wear, an Australian Defence Force uniform," he said.
The National Film and Sound Archive will re-open on August 1.
Director Jan Muller said the archive was in the process of developing Hive, an interactive experience, as well as adapting physical spaces.
"It will be worth the wait as visitors will be able to enjoy our latest experience, Hive, as well as a free daily program of films from the NFSA collection, screenings and special events," he said.
"In the meantime, please remember that the NFSA is always open online; from around Australia and in the comfort of your living room you can binge-watch hours of content from our collection, listen to talks by Australia's best filmmakers, musicians and critics, and join our new NFSA Live online events."
The Australian War Memorial and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House are still in the process of deciding when to open; a spokesman at the memorial said it could take longer because of the scale of the institution.
Senior manager of centres at Questacon Tristan Hoffmeister said the beloved science centre - one of the first to close as COVID-19 closed in in March - was also some weeks off re-opening.
"Our risk profile is different to other cultural institutions, and for us to safely reintroduce visitors, which we are highly motivated to do, we have to reinvent our visitor experience model," he said.
"We're in the process of developing a new engaging immersive experience, one that you can both pre-book, and limit the group sizes.
"We can know who's coming so we can be very clear about our health and safety protocols, and give those to our audience."
"It won't be Questacon as you know it, but it will be a different and fun experience. It is a phased approach."
He said the easing of restrictions had come earlier than expected, but it wouldn't change the centre's plans for reopening.
"We're sticking to our same timeline for reopening because we know what we need to do to get it right," he said.