ARLINGTON, Va. - The leaders of Arlington National Cemetery announced that starting Monday, they will no longer limit the number of people gathered at a gravesite.
The change comes as the D.C. region lifted many COVID-19 restrictions this weekend.
The cemetery’s leaders are still asking for those not fully vaccinated to continue wearing masks and maintain social distance.
But they also announced that following the latest CDC guidance, starting Monday, May 24th, masks will no longer be required outside.
Yes, if you are indoors.
"For it’s a very personal thing. We live in the area," said Debby McGinn. She and her husband were walking by the national cemetery Sunday morning. Dan McGinn told FOX 5 if the region can open restaurants and ballparks, it’s time to open the cemetery.
"It’s important to everybody. The families of course. I mean I have a relative buried [here] but also for people to come and to appreciate the significance. It’s time to reopen," McGinn added.
Dave Weygandt told FOX 5 he is fully vaccinated, visiting from Ohio, and does feel the changes are significant.
"Don’t know anyone that’s buried here but I think it’s important to – we lost a couple of pandemic through the pandemic and weren’t able to go to funerals and say your final goodbyes so it’s really important to be able to do that and have that peace," said Weygandt.
Tomb of the Unknown Solider and President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite will be fully open, Arlington National Cemetery noted on Twitter. The announcement came just as Metro resumed the Blue Line, reopening the Arlington Metro Station and one other on Sunday.
The Metro closures were not COVID-related -- but due to a three-month rebuild for Metro’s Platform Improvement Project. Still both changes are coming to the cemetery just in time for Memorial Day weekend, when thousands of family members and visitors usually come to honor those service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
On a side-note, the work that closed Arlington Cemetery and several other Virginia Metro stations is now moving over to the Green and Yellow lines, starting on Sunday, May 29th.
Metro says Summer Platform reconstruction will begin at the West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza, College Park – U of MD and Greenbelt stations from May 29th through September 6th.