White House tours to resume next month as virus fades

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public tours of the White House will resume next month after a more than 14-month hiatus due to the coronavirus, the Biden administration announced Tuesday.

Tours of the executive mansion were suspended indefinitely by President Joe Biden when he took office as he tightened virus protocols in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The free tours must be requested through a congressional office and will resume Friday and Saturday mornings beginning Friday, April 15.

The White House said it would continue to monitor COVID-19 cases based on recommendations from the CDC and other public officials and medical experts, and “reserves the right to adjust availability of the public tours as necessary” based on that guidance. Face masks will be available but optional for the tours.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the 10 days prior, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have the virus, ”should stay home,” the administration said.

Tours had been canceled for months by President Donald Trump at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed in September 2020 as the former president tried to project normalcy.

The White House said details about other White House events, including the annual Easter Egg Roll and spring garden tours, will be forthcoming.

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