Security forces and shutdowns in Washington D.C. for the Biden inauguration

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The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will take place under extraordinary security against threats from armed far-right groups after the Jan. 6 storming of Congress by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

More than 31,000 security personnel from the National Guard and law enforcement agencies will protect Washington. Much of the city’s core has been restricted or locked down ahead of the event, normally a day of public festivities and private balls. Most of these were already canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there will be a scaled back parade, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged the city’s 684,000 residents to stay home, AirBnb has canceled local reservations and local businesses and monuments are shutting.

A member of the US National Guard stands on the East Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Here are details on the security measures.


As many as 25,000 National Guard troops will converge on the city for the inauguration with 10,000 in place by Saturday. The forces come from at least six states and the District of Columbia.

Some National Guard troops have been deputized as Capitol Police, which gives them the right to make arrests.

A dog stands in a dog run as National Guard troops (R) man an alleyway near the streets leading to the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE


The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is expected to mobilize its entire force of more than 3,800 officers, as is the 2,200-strong U.S. Capitol Police.

Hundreds of US National Guard troops rest in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA to help secure the Capitol area ahead of more potentially violent unrest in the days leading up to the Inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden. . EPA-EFE/CARLOS VILAS


The Secret Service, which provides protection for the president and other officials, is coordinating the massive security operation. It will be joined by at least 20 other law enforcement and public safety entities. The agency declined to provide the total number of security personnel involved.

Participating agencies include the National Park Service and security forces for several of the federal agencies based in Washington.


Streets around the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building will be mostly closed to through vehicle traffic from Saturday to Thursday. Much of downtown will be closed to traffic except to residents with identification, according to a Secret Service bulletin.

The Arlington Memorial Bridge across the Potomac River is shut to cars as is a tunnel under the river.

Metro stations in downtown Washington will be closed from Saturday to Thursday.

National Guard soldiers with riot shields head to the Capitol Visitors Center after being deployed to secure the grounds around the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/SAMUEL CORUM


The National Park Service has closed the National Mall and iconic U.S. landmarks to visitors through at least Thursday.

The Mall includes the Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian museums and Washington Monument. The area around the White House has also been closed.


Delta and Alaska Airlines are banning passengers flying into D.C. from checking guns into their checked luggage.

Main Photo: Workers hang bunting from a media riser for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration parade outside the White House in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

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