WASHINGTON (AP) — Public tours of the White House will resume a full operating schedule next month after nearly a year and a half of disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Free tours of the executive mansion were suspended when President Joe Biden took office as officials tightened virus protocols in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. They resumed on a limited basis, taking place only on Friday and Saturday mornings, April 15, and will resume their normal schedule Tuesday through Saturday, excluding federal holidays, beginning July 19.
The White House said Monday it “will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with advice based on recommendations from the CDC and other public health officials and medical experts, and reserves the right to adjust the availability of public tours as necessary to adhere to the latest health guidelines.
He added that, within 10 days prior to tour departure, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, had symptoms of the virus, or had close contact with someone suspected of having the virus “should stay at home”.
Face masks will also be made available to visitors who want them, although their use is optional.
Visits had been canceled for months by then-President Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic, but resumed in September 2020 as he tried to project normality, prompting another suspension when the Biden administration began.
Other White House events, including the Easter Egg Roll in April, resumed this year after a two-year hiatus.
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