‘One-Way Traffic Patterns' in Effect at DC Memorials for Memorial Day Weekend

The memorials may be temporarily closed if crowds are too large, the Park Service warned

Washington D.C.'s Hospitality And Tourism Industry Takes Huge Hit During Coronavirus Pandemic As Crowds Stay Home
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremonies on the National Mall have been moved online this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and anyone who does opt to visit in person should expect restrictions. 

In anticipation of crowds over the holiday weekend, the National Park Service is implementing “one-way traffic patterns” at memorials including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Park Service said in a statement Thursday. These measures are intended to “facilitate proper distancing in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.” 

The memorials may be temporarily closed if crowds are too large, the Park Service warned. Visitors are asked to maintain distance from anyone outside their household. 

Video of wreath-laying ceremonies at the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Navy Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be posted on the National Mall and Memorial Parks Facebook page starting Monday morning. 

The traditional, live National Memorial Day Concert will not be held this year on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. But the show will go on and you can watch online or on PBS on Sunday at 8 p.m. Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host and participants will include Cynthia Erivo, Laurence Fishburne, CeCe Winans and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Here’s where we are Friday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area, and how our lives continue to be changed. 

More than 85,000 people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have been diagnosed with the virus. At least 3,610 people have died. Go here to see more data

D.C. and Prince George’s County are cautiously moving toward lifting restrictions. The start of a phased reopening appears possible for D.C. starting May 29 if coronavirus case numbers and other data continue to show improvements, the mayor said Thursday. D.C. has now had 12 days of reduced community spread of the virus, which the health director said is a crucial indicator.

"It is not an on-and-off switch. We will not be able to go back to life as we enjoyed it in February," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. 

D.C. has had 11 straight days of declining community spread of the coronavirus. News4's Mark Segraves reports the mayor says if that trend continues through the weekend, the District could begin Phase One of reopening May 29.

A four-stage plan of recommendations calls for gatherings of up to 10 people to be allowed and parks to be reopened. 

Prince George's County is set to begin a modified reopening on June 1 if data trends continue downward, the county executive said Thursday.

“While the data has improved, we are not out of the woods yet. I urge all Prince Georgians to exercise caution, use good judgement and observe the Stay-at-Home Order this holiday weekend so that we can stay on track to begin reopening by our target date," County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement. 

News4's Shomari Stone reports from Prince George's County, where some people are concerned the county won't be ready to safely reopen.

And now something upbeat: Positive messages now adorn at least 10 storefronts in the Crystal City, Potomac Yard and National Landing area. “We can get through this,” one design says. 

The Love National Landing campaign is spreading messages of hope, love and togetherness around this new Northern Virginia neighborhood. News4's Molette Green reports on some of the art you could see.

Virginia’s governor is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. You can watch live on or in the NBC Washington app. 

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