The Washington Monument has reopened after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All visitors over the age of 2 must wear a face covering while inside and must adhere to social distancing. Masks will not be provided to visitors, according to Recreation.gov. Reservations are required and visitors can purchase one ticket for up to four people online.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that “today is a big day.”
“Finally we’re at a point where we’re reopening our Washington Monument, a testament to our founding father George Washington,” he said. “It’s phenomenal that people can now come back, go up to the observation deck and recognize this incredible tribute to our leader who serves really as that beacon of hope to not only Americans but all humanity.”
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It was “really a big disappointment to make the decision to shut down” the monument, which is rich in history, Bernhardt said – but he made it a point to “tailor a program” in the coronavirus age that includes online ticketing and “good spacing throughout” so visitors can again be inspired.
“Everyone that walks through that monument cannot help but leave with an incredible sense of the tremendous man [Washingotn was] and of the tremendous effort America has made to create an exceptional reality for all humanity,” he said.
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“It’s really incredible. The reality is, when you walk through that monument … what you see is 193 carved stones that really were a tribute to the man himself.”
President Trump knows the monument is one that recognizes the importance of a Founding Father and “the ideals of America,” Bernhardt added, saying that rather than tear them down and remove them, “we should be telling American stories.”
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Visitors can expect a touchless check-in process, as well as hand-sanitizing dispensers throughout the monument. In addition, only four to eight people will be allowed in the elevator.
At the 500-foot observation level, groups will be allowed 10 minutes.
The monument will close daily from 1 to 2 p.m. for cleaning and disinfecting.
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The Washington Monument is open Monday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available one day ahead of the desired visit, at 10 a.m. ET. Group reservations and walk-ins are not being accepted at this time.