Secret Service limits sidewalk access south of White House

Secret Service limits sidewalk access south of White House

Secret Service limits sidewalk access south of White House

The US Secret Service on Wednesday said it is ending public access to the sidewalk in front of the White House, a concrete stretch on which millions of tourists - including India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was a political journeyman - have stood to have their photographs taken.

The north sidewalk of the White House is already restricted around the clock; and since 2015, people haven't been able to access to the south side sidewalk between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The Secret Service will begin permanently restricting access to the sidewalk on the South Fence of the White House beginning at 11 p.m. on April 19.

The U.S. Secret Service said Wednesday it plans to restrict public access to the sidewalk along the southern fence of the White House, weeks after a man scaled the barrier and walked around the grounds. President Donald Trump was in the residence at the time, and two Secret Service officers were fired after the incident.

"The Secret Service must continually evaluate security protocols and continually balance the security of our protected persons and facilities with the public's ability to access them", Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan said.

As journalist and women's rights advocate Erin Matson tweeted, "What this means for activists?"

The sidewalk is popular among tourists because of the iconic view of the White House.

In March, an intruder scaled a fence east of the White House at night and was on the property's grounds for 16 minutes before being detained.

The agency says the changes are part of a review of security measures at the White House complex.

It was the latest in a series of security breaches in recent years and security was bolstered in 2015 with the installation of sharp spikes on top of the iron fence circling the 18-acre property.

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