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Friday, January 22, 2021

National Mall May Close on Inauguration Day

Increased security in the nation’s capital during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week could lead officials to close the National Mall for the entire day, The Washington Post reports.

The National Park Service told USA Today that while officials are taking the matter into consideration, a final decision on closing the National Mall has not yet been made and news reports stating otherwise are incorrect.

“No final decision has been made regarding closures on the National Mall for the inaugural events,” the agency said in a statement. “When a decision is reached, an announcement will be made by the United States Secret Service and/or National Park Service.”

Following the violent riot at the Capitol last week, tours have been halted at the Washington Monument, one of the mall’s most notable landmarks. About 15,000 National Guard troops will be stationed in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration on Wednesday, when more than a dozen Metro train stations will be closed.

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“We are working closely with our regional and federal partners to keep the public safe during this National Special Security Event and to discourage travel within the secure zone,” Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “While we are supporting law enforcement plans to enhance security, we are also keeping essential services in place for our residents who need to get to work, to medical appointments, and to grocery stores.”

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