Honoring George HW Bush at the Capitol: What you need to know

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to the late President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, which opens to the public on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know if you are planning to visit the U.S. Capitol:

The public viewing will continue from Monday evening through Tuesday, and end at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The state funeral for the former president — which is not open to the public — will be on Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.

All visitors who come to the Capitol the will enter through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, after waiting in line on 1st Street NE, between Independence and Constitution avenues. Be prepared for lines to be long, and road closures nearby mean there’s little to no parking.

The closest Metro stops are Capitol South, Federal Center SW and Union Station.

You may enter the Capitol with a cellphone, but it must be turned off. Photos and electronic devices are not allowed while visitors are in the Rotunda. Also note that flowers, sealed envelopes and other offerings or tokens will not be allowed inside the Capitol Visitor Center or the Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police recommend that those attending bring as few items as possible, so that security screening won’t be slowed down.

The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (AP/Eric Gay)
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool) (AP/David J. Phillip)
Two trucks on East Capitol Street hours ahead of the Bush ceremony. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Two trucks on East Capitol Street hours ahead of the Bush ceremony. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller) (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Barricades are set up along the east side of the Capitol for people as they line up to pay their respects to the late George H.W. Bush. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Barricades are set up along the east side of the Capitol for people as they line up to pay their respects to the late George H.W. Bush. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller) (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Bush Funeral
Flags fly at half-staff at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in honor of former President George H.W. Bush. An outpouring is anticipated in Washington this week during the state funeral for Bush, who died late Friday at his home in Houston. He was 94. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
A member of the military takes a photo as the sun rises behind Special Air Mission 41, the plane that will transfer the casket of former President George H.W. Bush to Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Bush, died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94, is to be honored with a state funeral at National Cathedral in the nation's capital on Wednesday, followed by burial Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A member of the military takes a photo as the sun rises behind Special Air Mission 41, the plane that will transfer the casket of former President George H.W. Bush to Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Bush, died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94, is to be honored with a state funeral at National Cathedral in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, followed by burial Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (AP/Eric Gay)
Members of the U.S. Secret Service carry the casket with former President George H. W. Bush to a hearse at George H. Lewis Funeral Home after a family service, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Members of the U.S. Secret Service carry the casket with former President George H.W. Bush to a hearse at George H. Lewis Funeral Home after a family service, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato) (AP/Kiichiro Sato)
Tiffany, Owen, Ian, Ella Utterson
Tiffany Utterson, right, and her children, from left to right, Ella, 11, Ian, 10 and Owen, 8, place a wreath outside the gated community entrance to the home of George H.W. Bush Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Houston. Bush is returning to Washington as a revered political statesman, hailed by leaders across the political spectrum and around the world as a man not only of greatness but also of uncommon decency and kindness. Bush, died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94, is to be honored with a state funeral at National Cathedral in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, followed by burial Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (AP/David J. Phillip)
This Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 photo, Sully, President George H.W. Bush's service dog lies in front of his casket in Houston. The 41st president died Friday at his home in Houston at 94. (Evan Sisley/Office George H.W. Bush via AP)
This Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 photo, Sully, President George H.W. Bush’s service dog lies in front of his casket in Houston. The 41st president died Friday at his home in Houston at 94. (Evan Sisley/Office George H.W. Bush via AP) (AP/Evan Sisley)
Cathy Rogers of Windham, Maine, pays her respects at a makeshift memorial for President George H. W. Bush across from Walker's Point, the Bush's summer home, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Cathy Rogers of Windham, Maine, pays her respects at a makeshift memorial for President George H.W. Bush across from Walker’s Point, the Bush’s summer home, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
A tribute for Former President George H.W. Bush is seen before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Atlanta. Bush died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
A tribute for Former President George H.W. Bush is seen before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Atlanta. Bush died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (AP/John Bazemore)
(1/11)
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to Special Air Mission 41 at Ellington Field during a departure ceremony Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
Two trucks on East Capitol Street hours ahead of the Bush ceremony. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Barricades are set up along the east side of the Capitol for people as they line up to pay their respects to the late George H.W. Bush. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Bush Funeral
A member of the military takes a photo as the sun rises behind Special Air Mission 41, the plane that will transfer the casket of former President George H.W. Bush to Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Bush, died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94, is to be honored with a state funeral at National Cathedral in the nation's capital on Wednesday, followed by burial Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Members of the U.S. Secret Service carry the casket with former President George H. W. Bush to a hearse at George H. Lewis Funeral Home after a family service, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Tiffany, Owen, Ian, Ella Utterson
This Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 photo, Sully, President George H.W. Bush's service dog lies in front of his casket in Houston. The 41st president died Friday at his home in Houston at 94. (Evan Sisley/Office George H.W. Bush via AP)
Cathy Rogers of Windham, Maine, pays her respects at a makeshift memorial for President George H. W. Bush across from Walker's Point, the Bush's summer home, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A tribute for Former President George H.W. Bush is seen before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Atlanta. Bush died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

All of these items are prohibited in the Capitol and on its grounds:

  • Firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or incendiary devices including replica guns and ammunition.
  • Weapons (to include but not limited to): Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (of any size), martial arts weapons or devices.
  • Pointed objects to include but not limited to razors, box cutters, knives, knitting needles, letter openers. Pens and pencils are permitted.
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks.
  • Bags exceeding the size of 18 inches wide x 14 inches high x 8.5 inches deep.
  • Mace and pepper spray.
  • Liquid, including water; open and empty clear or translucent bottles and beverage containers are allowed.
  • Aerosol containers.
  • Non-Aerosol spray except for prescribed medical needs.
  • Sealed envelopes and packages.

As of Monday, public tours of the Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center are closed until 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Also, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony scheduled for Wednesday has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 on the West Front of the Capitol.

Residents and workers around the District are also advised to keep an eye on how the viewing, services and motorcade will impact traffic. In the words of police Chief Peter Newsham: “If people pay close attention to the road closures, they will be less likely to get caught up in the traffic that we assume this will create.”



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