The National Park Service may extend the closures if necessary.
Following the chaotic events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol last week, the Washington Monument has been officially closed to the public.
On Monday, the National Park Service (NPS) announced they would temporarily close the national landmark beginning January 11. The closure is effective through January 24, but officials plan to extend it should the need for such measures arise.
"These temporary closures are based upon a determination, in consultation with the local authorities, that such actions are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety," the agency said. "These temporary closures will begin January 11, 2021 and will remain in effect through January 24, 2021, but may be extended if conditions persist."
The monument itself will be shuttered, along with surrounding areas including parking facilities, restrooms, and road access. Tours of the memorial will also be halted. The NPS confirms that the closures will not disrupt or alter the monument's "natural aesthetic or cultural values."
In addition to the "credible threats" cited by the agency, the move also coincides with the upcoming presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20. Celebratory activities are scheduled in various sections of the National Mall, which, as a high-profile event, will undoubtedly lend itself to heightened security.
The federal agency oversees the maintenance and support of some of the country's most significant monuments, from the Constitution Gardens to the African American Civil War Memorial. The agency notes other landmarks listed under the National Mall and Memorial Parks, like Ford's Theatre and the Old Post Office Tower, will remain closed as they have since November, due to COVID-19.
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