News & Politics

The Smithsonian Cancels All Public Programming Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The rule will remain in effect until May 3.

The Smithsonian Castle, on the National Mall. Photograph by Eric Long, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.
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On Thursday, the the Smithsonian announced that, due to the coronavirus crisis, it will suspend all public programming until May 3. All facility rentals and public events will be postponed or canceled as a precaution, according to a press release, though the institution’s museums and the National Zoo will stay open for the time being and keep regular business hours.

The announcement comes after Mayor Bowser declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, stating in an advisory that “non-essential mass gatherings” of more than 1,000 people should be canceled or postponed until March 31. DC also pulled event permits for the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon and the ScopeItOut 5K, both scheduled to take place this month. Many other groups and organizations have also canceled events and suspended tours, including the Capitol Visitor Center, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and more.

Nathan Diller
Editorial Fellow

Nathan Diller has also written for DCist, Vulture, and Bustle. On Twitter, he’s @nateclaydiller.