WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian ended its policy requiring visitors to wear masks at its museums and the National Zoo.
The mandate ended Friday, March 11.
Officials say the change comes following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- as well as local and national masking guidelines.
There will also be a gradual transition to museums being open more days per week, officials say.
Beginning Monday, March 14, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Zoo will be open to the public seven days a week.
The official global death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 6 million on Monday.
Smithsonian's National Zoo
The milestone, recorded by Johns Hopkins University, is the latest tragic reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as people are shedding masks, travel is resuming and businesses are reopening around the globe.