However, not everyone thinks this is a good thing. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a letter to the Acting Director of the National Park Service (NPS) requesting the closure of the chambers of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials after reports that crowds had been forming at the sites over the weekend.
Norton said her letter was motivated by concern for the safety of the general public and NPS employees during the coronavirus.
“Federal agencies must do their part to flatten the curve,” Norton said. “Given the crowds that continue to gather in the chambers of both the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, it is no longer in the best interest of the community for these memorials to remain open. I am calling on Acting Director Vela to restrict access to the public until the coronavirus is over.”
These sites remain closed:
- Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument·
- Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
- Washington Monument
- Old Post Office Tower Tour
- All parking south of Independence Avenue SW, including Parking Lots A, B and C on Ohio Drive SW, the Tidal Basin Parking Lot, and street parking on Ohio Drive in East Potomac Park.
- Ohio Drive SW through West Potomac Park (between 23rd Street SW and Inlet Bridge) is thru traffic only. Parking and stopping is not permitted.
- Ohio Drive SW past East Potomac Golf Course to Hains Point is closed.
- All permits and reservations for events scheduled through May 15 have been cancelled. New applications will not be accepted for demonstrations, special events, or park site reservations scheduled through May 15.
- All athletic fields and volleyball courts are closed until further notice. The 2020 softball lottery and athletic season is postponed until further notice.
United States Park Police remain on duty protecting the parks, and normal rules and regulations continue to apply.
If contemplating a visit to a national park during this pandemic, NPS asks visitors to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees.