March 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Capitol and its surrounding buildings will be closed to the public for another month after President Donald Trump extended restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, federal officials announced Monday.
The House and Senate sergeants-at-arms announced the restricted access will be in place until at least May 1. They first announced the partial closures starting March 12 and ending Wednesday.
"We are taking this temporary action out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public. We appreciate the understanding of those with planned visits interrupted by this necessary, but prudent, decision," House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving and Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger said.
Only members of Congress, their staff, credentialed press and those on official business may enter the buildings.
U.S. copes with COVID-19 pandemic
Trump announced Sunday that federal guidelines for social distancing were extended through April 30 as the country fights to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory urging residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to avoid non-essential travel at Trump's direction and as hundreds of millions of Americans throughout the country have been placed under some sort of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place restrictions.
There have been more than 150,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and nearly 2,600 people have died from the disease as of Monday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University figures indicate.