As President Joe Biden prepares for his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night, security has tightened in and around the U.S. Capitol.
As a run-up to the 9 p.m. address — which is designated as a National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security — the Secret Service and Capitol Police have prepared an extensive safety plan that includes restricting certain areas and closing streets in the District.
The plan includes cooperation from the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Park Police.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Capitol Building is closed to the public. Access to the U.S. Capitol Building and Capitol Square will be restricted to only those with event credentials and authorized pedestrians beginning at 5 p.m.
Roughly only 200 people will be allowed in the Chambers, a far cry from the 1,100 capacity. Far fewer than half of the 535 members of Congress will attend because of the restrictions.
Pedestrian and vehicle access to the Capitol grounds will be restricted to only those with congressional IDs or those with event credentials beginning at 7 p.m.
No vehicles will be allowed within the Capitol grounds beginning at 7 p.m., except for those displaying a
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