WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – White House public tours are officially back. On Friday, the Biden administration opened the grounds to the public for the first time in over a year.
Visitors from across the country stood ready to line up early Friday morning.
“It’s really cool how you can not walk a block without seeing a monument somewhere,” Evelyn Philbeck said.
“I’m so happy,” said Nancy Morris-Homan.
Morris-Homan said she took the trip from California to Washington, DC three times, but this visit is extra special. She is one of the first tourists to enter the White House in over a year.
“Just being able to stand close and breathe is really important to me. I get goosebumps, ”she said.
The White House closed its doors to the public in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public tours resumed in September, but it only lasted a few weeks.
“We are just happy that it succeeded, because it has been closed for a very long time,” said Carol Herr, who is visiting from Indiana.
The tours are planned on a first-come, first-served basis through your member of Congress and you can not just go up. They must be requested and approved 21 days to three months in advance.
The White House said space is limited, too. Only 15 people are allowed in each group, and tours are only offered between selected hours on Friday and Saturday.
“Even when you come more than once, you still get excited and excited because we are Americans, and this is America’s home,” Morris-Homan said.