The Washington Monument Reopens After Being Closed Due to COVID
After being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Monument reopens Wednesday with limited capacity.
“For the most part, it will look like normal operations,” Mike Litterst, the chief of communications for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, told ABC News. “But we are, for the time being, putting some capacity limits in place. And we are requiring masks of anyone age two and over that enters the monument.”
Litterst said the mask requirement would be enforced even if someone is fully vaccinated. While the monument is able to hold a capacity of 1,100 people per day, according to Litterst, the National Park Service is limiting the number by almost half, down to 580 per day to accommodate for social distancing protocols.
But tickets are selling fast. On Tuesday, it sold out in 90 seconds for Wednesday’s reopening.
In the last decade, the monument has been closed more than it has been open. After an earthquake in 2011, the monument closed down for nearly three years due to repairs. Then, it reopened for a year and a half before it was closed again so the NPS could modernize its elevator. After the $10 million+ restoration of the site was completed, it reopened in September 2019. It was only open for about six months before COVID swept across the country in March 2020, shutting down businesses and public spaces like the monument. It then reopened on Oct. 1, 2020 and closed down again on Jan. 11, 2021.
But Litterst is confident the monument will remain open for the foreseeable future, especially because he said no mechanical repairs need to be made soon.
Source: “The Washington Monument is reopening Wednesday after being closed because of COVID” by Lauren Lantry. Read the full article on abcnews.com.