Inauguration planners rethink how to party in age of virus

“I think you’re going to see something that’s closer to what the convention was like than a typical inauguration,” President-elect Joe Biden said Friday, referring to the all-virtual event that marked his nomination last summer. “First and foremost, in my objective, is to keep America safe but still allow people to celebrate — to celebrate and see one another celebrate.”…

Biden’s swearing-in itself will not be virtual. But guests should be prepared to socially distance and wear a mask. Lawmakers are also considering requiring a COVID-19 test for anyone on the platform near the president-elect, said Paige Waltz, a spokesperson for the joint congressional committee charged with overseeing the event.

The VIP platform can hold 1,600 people. Lawmakers also generally distribute tickets for positions nearby. While no hard decisions have been made, the committee is looking at cutting the numbers on both accounts.

“My guess is there will still be a platform ceremony,” Biden said. “But I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to work out. The key is keeping people safe. I can’t do a super version of the president’s announcement in the Rose Garden.”