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Plan to reopen US Capitol to the public for first time in 2 years under review

By Annie Grayer, CNN

A plan to reopen the US Capitol after being shut down to the public for two years as the result of the coronavirus pandemic is under review, a source familiar with the plans tells CNN.

On Monday, United States Capitol Police met with the House and Senate sergeants at arms, staff for the Committee on House Administration, and staff on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration to discuss the drafted proposal that would open the Capitol in phases.

According to the source familiar with the plan, the Capitol would reopen in three phases starting on March 28. First, the limit for the number of official business visitors would raise from nine to 15. Staff led tours, which are currently prohibited, would be allowed to resume with a limit of 15 individuals. And from 10 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on weekdays, two tours per hour can be provided to students from kindergarten through 12th grade, with a limit of 50 students. Tour guides would be able to work for a total of eight hours per day.

Phase two would become effective May 30, and would allow for a limited reopening of the Capitol Visitor Center.

And phase three, which the source emphasized was still a highly tentative target of Labor Day, would be the target date for the Capitol to fully reopen to business as usual prior to the pandemic.

As the result of the pandemic, the Capitol shut down to the public and many Covid protocols were put in place.

Attending Physician of the Capitol Brian P. Monahan lifted the mask mandate at the Capitol as of February 27, ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

Proxy voting, which was introduced as the result of the pandemic and allows members to enlist a colleague to vote for them even though they are not physically present, is currently set to expire on March 30. In order to proxy vote, a member has to sign a form citing the pandemic as the reason for using the measure, which as CNN has previously reported has become a practice that has been widely misused on both sides of the aisle.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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