Public tours of the White House will resume a full operating schedule on July 19 for the first time since they were suspended in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the White House announced Monday.
Limited tours of the White House resumed earlier this year on Fridays and Saturdays but will be offered Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, excluding federal holidays, under the full operating schedule. The tours are free to the public and can be scheduled through the office of a member of Congress.
The White House says it will continue to monitor Covid-19 and operate based on guidance provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Face masks are not currently required for the tours. Anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19, has symptoms or has been exposed to the virus within 10 days of their scheduled tour is being told to stay home.
The White House has hosted several large-scale events at the White House in recent months, after being unable to do so for much of President Joe Biden’s first year in office. The President and first lady Jill Biden welcomed thousands of guests to the South Lawn of the White House in April for the Easter Egg Roll, an annual holiday tradition that had been canceled for the past two years because of the pandemic. The White House also hosted spring garden tours this year, which were free and open to the public.
The Biden administration has been trying to move the country into a new phase of the pandemic that is less disruptive to Americans’ daily lives.
A significant development in the nation’s fight against Covid-19 came earlier this month, when the US Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorizations for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to include children as young as 6 months. Moderna’s vaccine is now authorized for use in children 6 months through 17 years and Pfizer/BioNTech’s for children 6 months through 4 years. About 17 million kids under age 5 are now are eligible for Covid-19 vaccines.