Three Phased Plan Reopening the U.S. Capitol
The Capitol will open in three phases beginning March 28th.
Phase one -March 28:
- Capitol authorities will increase the “official visitor” limit to 15 from the current nine
- Staff-led tours will resume with a limit of 15 people per tour
- School groups will be allowed back in the Capitol Monday through Friday, likely using a lottery system. Capitol tour guides will be available for two tours per hour for school children and will be limited to 50 students for a total of eight tours per day.
Phase two - May 30:
- The Capitol Visitors Centers will open with limited visits. The details are still being worked out.
Phase three – Labor Day:
- The full reopening of the Capitol, back to the pre-pandemic activities, is expected around Labor Day. However, this date is being described as “highly tentative.” Senior officials from the House and Senate leadership, key committees, U.S. Capitol Police, and the House and Senate sergeants at arms offices are still working out the details of the full reopening. The major reason for the phased reopening is that the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) have roughly 10 percent fewer uniformed officers than when the pandemic began in 2020. USCP is short hundreds of officers. The reason for the shortage is twofold: The training academy was closed during the pandemic and hundreds of officers left the force following the January 6th insurrection. The USCP is stepping up its recruiting efforts to address the shortfall, including welcoming a new class just last week.