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Congress Relaxes Physical Security Measures but Not Visitor Protocols

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Congress Relaxes Physical Security Measures but Not Visitor Protocols

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
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As ANCOR begins planning for its annual Policy Summit & Hill Day (taking place October 12-13 in Washington, said the Capitol Correspondence editor in a shameless plug), we want to keep our members informed of congressional visit protocols. These protocols have changed as Congress navigates both pandemic safety and physical security needs following the January 6 insurrection. While fencing outside the Capitol complex has come down, we note that at this time, congressional buildings are still largely closed to the public. We will continue to keep members abreast of security and visitor protocols as they evolve in coming months. As ASAE reports:

“More than six months after the events of January 6, all remaining security fencing around the Capitol is set to come down. According to a memo sent to staff and lawmakers on Wednesday, the removal could begin as early as Friday and finish Monday. The memo also noted the Architect of the Capitol can put the fencing back if needed.

‘The Architect of the Capitol has the ability to and will expeditiously reinstall the temporary fencing should conditions warrant,’ according to the memo.

Even with fencing down, the Capitol is still largely closed to the public. Tours are halted for the duration of COVID-19, and the memo sent to House offices noted the current Capitol access restrictions ‘will remain in place.’ It is unclear when exactly tours will resume.”