White House to host ‘Fall Garden Tours’ this year, despite issues with health and safety

The White House is set to host “Fall Garden Tours” for lawmakers and the public this season to show off the newly renovated Rose Garden. 

The tours will be hosted Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, even after more than 20 staffers, journalists, allies of the administration and GOP lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus following contact with the White House. 

The tours are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Visitors will be able to tour the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden and Rose Garden.

Guest capacity is limited, and visitors are required to wear a face mask. Tickets will be offered to all congressional offices. 

President Trump and first lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but White House physician Dr. Sean Conley announced the president will be able to return to public engagements this weekend. 


“Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time,” he said. 

Other White House staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at this point include senior adviser Hope Hicks and director of Oval Office operations Nick Luna. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien also tested positive.


Former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced they tested positive this week, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped Trump prep for the presidential debate, remains hospitalized from the virus. 

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White House Announces 2020 Fall Garden Tours

This fall, the White House will open its gardens and grounds to visitors.  The grounds will be open on Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and Sunday, October 18, from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Visitors will have the opportunity to discover firsthand the beauty of the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden, and the newly renovated Rose Garden. In August of 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the restoration the iconic Rose Garden.

This event is free and open to the public, however, a ticket is required for all attendees (including small children).  The National Park Service (NPS) will distribute free, timed tickets near the public entrance at the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest throughout each tour day. The entry point for all guests will be located near the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest. Please arrive 15 minutes before your preferred entry time. Please note, tickets will be distributed every half hour—one ticket per person—on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests attending Fall Garden Tours at the White House should expect the following precautions to be taken during their visit:

  • Guest capacity is limited and event hours are extended.
  • All guests (ages 2 years and over) are required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during their visit to the White House complex.
  • Social distancing will be encouraged during the check-in process.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the tour route.

Please note the following items are not allowed on the White House grounds:

  • Aerosols, ammunition, animals other than service/guide animals, backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18” x 13” x 7”), balloons, bicycles and scooters, coolers, drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, e-cigarettes, electronic tablets, explosives, firearms, folding chairs, glass, thermal, or metal containers,

White House announces socially distanced fall garden tours

The White House is opening its grounds for its annual fall garden tours amid the coronavirus pandemic, giving socially distanced visitors a first look at the Rose Garden’s recent makeover.

The free tours will be held on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, the White House announced on Wednesday.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to discover firsthand the beauty of the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden, and the newly renovated Rose Garden,” a statement said.

The Rose Garden got its new look in August. The White House hasn’t disclosed how much the refresh cost, but has said the funds were obtained by private donations.

The National Park Service oversees the care and upkeep of the White House’s outdoor spaces.

All guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear face masks and to practice social distancing while touring the White House grounds, guidance about the October event stated.

The National Park Service is poised to distribute free, timed tickets for the fall tours on a first-come, first-served basis at the corner of 15th St. and Constitution Ave. during each of the event’s dates.

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