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White House to resume public tours on September 12, masks and social distancing required

The number of guests, the announcement said, will be reduced to 18 percent of previous capacity.
A view of the White House by night
The White House in 2019.Yara Nardi / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Public tours of the White House will resume later this month, but at a reduced capacity and with social distancing and mask requirements in effect, the office of first lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday.

The announcement said that tours will resume on Saturday, September 12, and will only occur on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET. The number of guests, it said, will be reduced to 18 percent of normal capacity.

“In order to ensure the safety and health of all visitors, there have been new policies implemented that align with the guidance issued by Federal, State, and local officials,” the first lady’s office said.

All guests will be required to wear a face covering, except for children under 2 years old, and maintain distance between individuals while they’re inside the White House complex. While the notice said that hand sanitizer will be available, it didn’t say whether guests’ temperature will be taken before entering.

There are still some limitations, however, in place for people coming from high-risk states. The District of Columbia health department is currently requiring people coming to D.C. from more than two-dozen states to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the city.

Tours of the U.S. Capitol building are still closed. Two popular Washington, D.C.-based Smithsonian attractions, the National Zoo and the National Gallery of Art, have re-opened for visitors but require timed-passes, mask wearing and other safety measures.