White House tours will resume on a limited basis in November, a Secret Service official has confirmed to The Daily Caller Friday.
The tours were cancelled in March due to sequestration.
Tours will resume on a reduced schedule on Nov. 5. Instead of five days a week tours will happen approximately three days a week through Jan. 15.
“In light of the new fiscal year … we’re confident that through the continuing resolution, tours can operate at a reduced level while still meeting all our requirements,” the official told TheDC.
An email the White House sent to “tour coordinators” offered further details on the openings:
Dear Tour Coordinator,
We are pleased to announce that the White House will be reopening for limited Public Tours of the East Wing and Executive Residence.
The Visitors Office is excited to begin scheduling tour requests for Tuesday, November 5 and beyond. At this time, and in order to accommodate as many requests as possible, we will consider requests submitted through the online system up to one week in advance of the tour date for dates in November. However, for tours happening on December 3 and after, tour requests must be submitted 21 days in advance of the tour date.
At this time, the White House Tour System is fully functional and requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. All previous requests for November 5 and beyond will remain in the system; you do not need to resubmit these requests. Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule any tours that were canceled due to sequestration.
There are several other announcements we would like to make in line with the resumption of tours:
Tour Coordinator Handbooks and Member Passes
The Visitors Office is happy to provide all Tour Coordinators with a printed copy of the Tour Coordinator handbook and new Member Passes for October 2013 through March 2014. Our staff will be bringing the passes and handbooks to the Capitol for you to pick up directly. We will be scheduling our visit shortly and will inform you of the dates and times for pick up as soon as they are confirmed.
Please note – we can only release passes and handbooks to your office’s designated Tour Coordinator. Do not send an intern or another staff member to pick them up on your behalf. Due to lack of tour availability in October, the October Member Pass may be used for any month through March 2014.
Tour Coordinator Changes
If you have a new Tour Coordinator in your office and have yet to inform the Visitors Office, please do so using the Sponsor Info and User Agreement Forms located on the White House Tour System by October 25 to ensure smooth transfer of materials.
Fall Garden Tours
The White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, October 26, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM and Sunday, October 27, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Visitors can view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and the South Lawn of the White House. The Kitchen Garden will once again be accessible to tour guests.
For this event, your constituents will have two ways of receiving tickets:
- Each Congressional office will receive an allocation of tickets for each day of Garden Tours, which can be used at your discretion. Allotments will be mailed to your office early next week.
- The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (located at 15th and E Streets) on each day of Fall Garden Tours beginning at 7:30 AM. Tickets will be distributed — one ticket per person — on a first-come, first-served basis.
Unfortunately, due to construction near the East Wing, the White House is unable to provide parking to Members of Congress on complex during Member Tour time. If you have any questions or concerns regarding parking or access to the White House, please feel free to call the Visitors Office.
We very much look forward to seeing you all next week and at the White House in the coming months!
White House Visitors Office