Washington, D.C.'s residents and visitors will no longer be able to stroll along the sidewalk on the south side of the White House, the U.S. Secret Service announced.
The closure, which began at 11 p.m. Wednesday, includes the stretch of sidewalk and grass between the south fence and E Street NW, from West Executive Avenue to East Executive Avenue, the Secret Service said in a statement.
The area has been closed each night from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. since 2015, but this new restriction makes it off-limits at all hours.
Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan told WTOP that the restriction isn’t based on any specific incident.
Public Will No Longer Have Access to WH South Fence
“The Secret Service must continually evaluate security protocols and continually balance the security of our protected persons and facilities with the public’s ability to access them,” Milhoan said in a statement.
The White House has had multiple fence jumpers in recent months. In March, a man jumped the fence with two cans of mace and was on White House grounds for more than 15 minutes before being captured. President Donald Trump was in the residence at the time, and two Secret Service officers were fired after the incident.
“Restricting public access to the fence line will not only serve to lessen the possibility of individuals illegally accessing the White House grounds, but will also create a clear visual break to enable Secret Service officers to identify and respond to potential hazards including individuals attempting to scale the fence,” Milhoan added.
The Secret Service said the new restriction, which won't require any additional physical barriers, will not obstruct the public's ability to view or photograph the White House.