US Capitol reopening first phase to begin by end of March

Americas News
US Capitol reopening first phase to begin by end of March

A phased reopening of the US Capitol is to begin by the end of the month. The complex has been shut to the public since 12 March, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A draft plan for the reopening lays out a three-phase plan for reopening, with the first phase beginning 28 March. It would allow for the return of staff-led tours, with a limit of 15 people per tour.

Visitors on official business also would be allowed, with a 15-person limit. Capitol tours for K-12 students would resume between the hours of 10 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on weekdays, with a total of eight tours per day for groups limited to a maximum of 50 students.

The second phase would tentatively begin 30 May and would involve a limited reopening of the Capitol Visitor Center.

The third phase is expected to begin on Labor Day, 5 September and would involve the reopening of the entire Capitol complex for business as usual. Masks mandates were lifted for the Capitol on 27 February.

“For meeting attendees and visitors coming to Washington, DC, being able to visit the US Capitol, the most recognisable symbol of our democracy, anchors the American experience,” Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC, told CMW. “To be able to spend time inside the Capitol and other iconic venues on the National Mall brings the Washington, DC experience to life and makes for an unforgettable event.”

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