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Washington Monument to reopen after Covid closure

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The Washington Monument will welcome visitors again after being largely shut during the pandemic./AFP
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Jul 13, 2021 - 10:04 AM

WASHINGTON — The Washington Monument will reopen to visitors this week for the first time in six months, according to the National Park Service, as the US capital seeks to revive its role as a tourism hub.

The national landmark honoring America’s founding father shuttered as a security measure in January for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and was kept closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Deaths from the coronavirus have fallen sharply in the United States in recent months, though cases are rising in some parts of the country due to patchy vaccination rates and new variants.

Towering above the city sharing its name, the monument celebrates the military and political leadership of George Washington, whose Continental Army led newly-American revolutionaries to independence from Britain.

On its completion in 1884, the 555-foot (170-meter) obelisk was briefly the tallest building in the world. Hundreds of thousands of pre-pandemic tourists visited the structure annually, according to data from the National Parks Service.

It has been closed for the majority of the pandemic, shutting in March 2020 to reopen for a window between October 2020 and January 2021.

Visitors must reserve a ticket online, and masks are required for all.

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