After being closed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Capitol will reopen to tourists Monday, congressional officials announced in a memo.
The attending physician and Sergeant at Arms justified the move based on the low Covid-19 levels as defined by the CDC.
“Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we collaboratively work together to reopen the Capitol to the American people,” the memo said.
The reopening will take place in stages starting with school tours and groups of up to 15 people who have pre-registered.
These tours will be led by members of Congress or their assistants. Reservations have been available since Thursday, March 24.
Dome tours are scheduled to start on April 25 with bookings commencing on April 11. These tours will also be led by congressmen and will take place on weekdays only.
During the initial phase of the reopening, the House Gallery, the balcony with seats overlooking the Chamber, will be closed.
The Capitol would transition to the second phase of reopening in late May. The Congressional Visitor Center, as well as the Congressional Visitor Center restaurant should be open to a “limited number of guests” by then.
The U.S. Botanical Garden will also reopen on April 1, according to a statement from Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, leader of the House Administration Committee.
The Capitol adheres to CDC’s Covid-19 Community Levels guideline for coronavirus health and safety response. The community level is now set to green, indicating that the danger to vaccinated people is “low.”
Wearing a face covering is not needed under this category, but is strongly recommended for people immunocompromised or unvaccinated.