Congressman John R. Lewis to Lie in State in U.S. Capitol July 27 and 28, 2020

July 24, 2020
Press Release
Information Regarding Viewing Hours, Public Health Measures, Road Closures and Other Restrictions

The late Congressman John R. Lewis will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28, 2020.  In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Lewis will lie in state at the top of the East Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol Building to allow for public viewing outdoors. 

It is recommended that members of the public pay their respects virtually.  Virtual tributes may be posted online using the hashtags #BelovedCommunity or #HumanDignity.

Those choosing to attend the public viewing are advised to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Social distancing will be strictly enforced in the public lines, and the wearing of face coverings/masks will be required to enter the lines and participate in the public viewing. 



Following an invitation-only arrival ceremony to include Congressman Lewis’ family and Members of Congress, the public viewing line will begin its procession to and across the East Front Plaza beginning at approximately 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., on Monday, July 27.  On Tuesday, July 28, the public may pay their respects from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

The viewing public, including those with special needs, may begin queuing at the corner of First and East Capitol Streets, NE, beginning the afternoon of Monday, July 27.  Individuals wishing to pay their respects should be prepared for any forecasted weather conditions as they will be outside throughout the duration of their visit.  With temperatures predicted to be in the 90s and severe thunderstorms possible, visitors are advised to bring water and umbrellas, and to wear lightweight clothing, sunhats, and take other precautions as warranted.  Please note:  No flowers, sealed envelopes, or other offerings/tokens will be allowed to be left on/near the U.S. Capitol steps.



As the U.S. Capitol Building is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue to be restricted to only those with Congressional credentials to include Members of Congress and spouses, invited dignitaries, USCP credentialed guests, and credentialed media.  All official business visitors must be escorted to/from their destinations by staff from the North Screening Facility or the South door.  All vehicular access to the Capitol Plaza will be restricted from Monday, July 27 through Wednesday, July 29.

Members of the public are asked to be observe the solemnity of the occasion while on the East Front Plaza.  Everyone’s patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated to ensure that the event is both respectful and secure. 



The United States Capitol Police (USCP) recommends that those planning to attend this event bring as few items as possible while queuing in line.  In addition to any other items at the discretion of USCP officers,
the following items are prohibited on U.S. Capitol Grounds.

  • Pursuant to the United States and District of Columbia Criminal Codes, firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or incendiary devices are prohibited on U.S. Capitol Grounds.

  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition

  • Weapons (to include but not limited to):  Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (of any size), martial arts weapons or devices

  • Pointed objects to include but not limited to razors, box cutters, knives, knitting needles, letter openers. Pens and pencils are permitted. 

  • Explosives and explosive devices to include Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks

  • Mace and pepper spray

  • Sealed envelopes and packages

  • Federal law prohibits flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems, such as drones, anywhere in the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Capitol Grounds are designated as a NO DRONE ZONE.



The USCP will put the following street closures into effect on Sunday, July 26 beginning at 7 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29.  There may be additional street closures around the U.S. Capitol as it becomes necessary; other law enforcement agencies may close streets outside of Capitol Grounds as warranted.  Access to the perimeter will be restricted to those bearing proper U.S. Capitol Police authorization and credentials. 

  • East Capitol Street NE/SE, from Second Street, NE/SE, to First Street, NE/SE

  • First Street, NE/SE, from Constitution Ave., NE, to Independence Ave., SE


The use of public transportation is encouraged as there is no public parking on Capitol Grounds.  Please visit to plan your trip.  The closest metro stops are Capitol South, Federal Center SW, and Union Station.