On 8 March 2017, following a brief interruption following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the White House announced that tours are once again open to the general public. However, the British embassy in Washington D.C. said that it cannot arrange tours with them for its citizens for unknown reasons, citing an advisory by the U.S. State Department.
The British embassy announced the freeze on tours in a statement on its web site:
The White House website states that foreign nationals interested in touring the White House should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour. However, the Embassy has been advised by the US Department of State that this is on hold. We are therefore unable to process any applications at this time.
While the White House website does direct foreign nationals to arrange White House tours through their country’s embassy, it does not include any advisories from the State Department.
A department official told us via e-mail:
On March 7, the White House announced the official reopening of public tours. Foreign nationals interested in a public tour of the White House should submit a request through their embassy.
We’d refer you to the British embassy for information listed on their website.
British embassy officials did not return a request for comment, but officials with both the Irish and Mexican embassies told us they had not received a similar advisory from the State Department. (We also contacted the Indian and Canadian embassies, but they have not responded.)
While foreign nationals are required to contact their national embassies to arrange a White House tour, United States residents must request a tour through their local congressional representatives. The White House web site urges prospective visitors to schedule their tours at least 21 days in advance.