Washington’s National Mall closed ahead of presidential transition

Washington’s National Mall closed ahead of presidential transition
A construction worker carries a hammer at the National Mall in Washington DC (Biden Inauguration/AP)

The US National Park Service has closed Washington’s National Mall to the general public as part of greatly intensified security ahead of Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

The closure started Friday morning.

It will remain in force at least through to Thursday, the day after Mr Biden’s inauguration, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Security surrounds the US Capitol (Susan Walsh/AP)

The Secret Service asked for the closing.

Thousands of National Guard troops are deployed in the nation’s capital as part of extraordinary security, after supporters of President Donald Trump overran the Capitol building January 6 as politicians were certifying results in Mr Biden’s election victory over Mr Trump.

President-elect Joe Biden (Matt Slocum/AP)

The park service will still allow inauguration activities and permitted free-speech events on the National Mall despite the closure, it said.

The park service said it would allow only small demonstrations for permit holders and would escort any protesters and hold them in designated areas, along with other safety measures.

National Park Service and Interior Department spokespeople did not immediately respond when asked if any protest permits had been granted or applied for.

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