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Coronavirus forces DC attractions to close for undetermined period

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Just as spring break season ramps up, Washington D.C. is shutting down some of its major tourist attractions, and there’s no telling when they’ll start to open up again.

The doors of every Smithsonian museum close Friday evening, and no one knows when they’ll re-open.

“We’re going to try to get into the Natural History and the American History as well,” said tourist Jeremy Hardy.

Hardy and his family are visiting from North Carolina and planned to stay through Monday.

“I mean with everything closing tomorrow, that might change,” he said.

The Capitol is also shut down to public tours, along with the Supreme Court and the National Zoo.

Portions of the famed Cherry Blossom Festival later this month are scaled back, and could see more changes.

“We want to do as much as possible, but at the same time, we’re kind of limited,” said tourist Robert Ascencio.

Something to keep in mind about these closures: they’re temporary, but open-ended. That means it’s just not clear at this point when things will start to open back up. It all depends on how this pandemic continues.

“There are probably places you can go and get a lot out of your experience in Washington without being around a crowd and that’s what I would recommend,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

Banks said visiting families need to follow authority’s guidelines.

Ohio senator Sherrod Brown said families should follow CDC guidelines and avoid travel if possible.

“People shouldn’t come here,” he said.

And with the situation changing so quickly, authorities say tourists should stay informed by checking an attraction’s status online.

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