June 22, 2020 / 4:46 PM / 10 days ago

White House scales back practice of taking temperatures of visitors

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has his temperature taken by a White House staff member checking for possible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as he arrives to attend prior to President Trump signing an executive order on police reform at a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday cut back on temperature checks for visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic but said anyone in close proximity with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would still be checked for the virus.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the decision was prompted by the city of Washington entering the second phase of its reopening, which allows for more activity.

“In conjunction with Washington, D.C. entering Phase Two today, the White House is scaling back complex-wide temperature checks,” Deere said.

For the last three months visitors to the White House had undergone a temperature check before entering the grounds.

“In addition to social distancing, hand sanitizer, regular deep cleaning of all work spaces, and voluntary facial coverings, every staff member and guest in close proximity to the president and vice president is still being temperature checked, asked symptom histories, and tested for COVID-19,” Deere said.

Reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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