© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court building the day after Election Day as results are still being counted and election-related lawsuits are expected to make their way through the court system in Washington, U.S. November 4, 2020. REU
(Reuters) – The United States Supreme Court said on Monday it will stop allowing the public to attend courtroom sessions in person during the month of April as coronavirus cases rise in the District of Columbia.
Despite infections remaining relatively flat nationwide, a number of high-profile political figures in Washington D.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 recently, including members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron variant accounts for the majority of cases in the United States and has contributed to the reintroduction of restrictions and warnings about infection rates in some other countries.
“Courtroom access will be limited to the Justices, essential Court personnel, counsel in the scheduled cases, and journalists with full-time press credentials issued by the Supreme Court,” the country’s highest federal court said in a statement.
A live audio feed of oral arguments will be provided.
Philadelphia on Monday became the first major U.S. city to re-impose a mask mandate, making it obligatory to wear face masks in indoor public settings such as restaurants, schools and businesses from next week.