The Mall is usually where tens of thousands of Inauguration Day viewers gather to watch the next president be sworn in. But amid the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing safety threats in Washington, D.C., only members of the media and security will be allowed in the area, two people familiar with the matter tell the Post.
President-elect Joe Biden had already moved to limit the audience for his swearing in from the traditional west side of the Capitol, encouraging supporters to stay home and watch the star-studded event virtually instead. But after President Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol last week, and amid at least one threat of violence against the inauguration, officials will totally shut down the area. "That means no one will be able to get into the Mall," one of the officials told the Post. "I would think about it as if you are going to watch, you are not going to be able to see anything. You would maybe be able to see the top of the Capitol."
Previously, the National Park Service suspended tours of the Washington Monument from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24. "Groups involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol continue to threaten to disrupt the 59th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021," NPS said in statement. The NPS also said at the time it could shut down more of the Mall area ahead of the inauguration.
Airbnb meanwhile canceled all reservations in the D.C. area ahead of the inauguration, and the D.C. Metro will shut down rail stops in the area.