White House reopening public tours

On April 15, members of the public who have obtained tickets will once again be able to visit the People’s House. Touring the White House has been on indefinite hiatus since March 12, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A temporary lift on tours was attempted in September 2020, but was short-lived.

“The White House will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation with guidance based on recommendations from the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and other public health officials and medical experts, and reserves the right to adjust availability of the public tours as necessary to adhere to the latest health guidance,” the memo stated.

The memo adds anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19, has symptoms, or has been exposed to the virus within 10 days of their scheduled tour should stay home.

The White House is also making face masks available for those who wish to wear them during their visit.

The move to reopen tours comes as case numbers of the virus have dropped around the country in recent weeks. On average, hundreds of thousands of people typically visit the White House for public tours. In 2019, for example, prior to the pandemic, the White House saw approximately 450,000 visitors, according to records obtained by CNN from the White House Visitors Office.

The White House memo indicates the tour schedule remains amended, and will only initially include Fridays and Saturdays. Constituents must get reservations to tour the White House from their member of Congress, with the pre-pandemic requirement of a 21- to 90-day window from the date of the request for tickets still in place.

Last week, congressional chiefs of staffs on Capitol Hill were sent an email from the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, notifying them that tours would soon resume, according to a person with knowledge of the email.

The White House is also expected to resume the hosting of the Easter Egg Roll next month after festivities were scaled back over the last two years due to the pandemic. The North Carolina-based Braswell Family Farms announced Tuesday it has been chosen to supply eggs for the annual tradition, which takes place on the South Lawn of the White House. Braswell will supply 15,000 hard-boiled eggs and 12,000 rainbow-dyed, hard-boiled eggs for the event.

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