The White House on Tuesday announced plans to resume public tours beginning in April, a change in policy after tours were largely paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House said that free public tours will begin on April 15 and be available between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, except for federal holidays.
“The White House will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with guidance based on recommendations from the [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 announcement said.
Face coverings will be made available but optional for those who take the tours. The White House is urging anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, shown symptoms, or encountered someone believed to have the virus within 10 days before the public tour to stay home.
The decision to resume public tours at the White House is the latest sign of conditions inching towards normal in the nation’s capital.
COVID-19 cases have declined across the nation as the omicron variant wanes. The White House lifted a mask mandate for vaccinated employees and others on the grounds at the beginning of March.
Public tours at the White House have largely been suspended since March 2020, though the Trump administration briefly sought to bring them back in September 2020 with COVID-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, officials at the U.S. Capitol are considering a phased reopening of the grounds beginning later in March. The Capitol has been closed to the public for two years during the pandemic.