The Associated Press, Washington|
Congress is shutting the Capitol to the public until April in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus, officials announced on Thursday, a rare step that underscores the growing gravity with which the government is reacting to the viral outbreak.
In a statement, the House and Senate sergeants at arms said congressional office buildings and the Congressional Visitor Center, through which tourists enter the Capitol, were also being shuttered.
In an email to lawmakers’ offices, the sergeants at arms said the Capitol will be closed to all tours, including special ones led by House and Senate members and their aides. No tours will be permitted in the Capitol Visitor Center, a massive three-level underground structure, which opened in 2008 and had greeted more than 21 million visitors through 2018.
Lawmakers’ offices will be required to meet any official visitors at building entrances, and they were asked to escort them out after the meetings.