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US shutdown: what’s open, what’s closed

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island open again to tourists today.

New York’s landmark Statue of Liberty will open again to tourists today, thanks to a New York State funding agreement, after it was temporarily closed due to the US federal government shutdown that began on Saturday.

But other famous US attractions, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, are closed for the time being. This is because federal workers who are described as “nonessential” have been furloughed, or temporarily laid off.

National park rangers
“Essential” federal workers are still working, which means airports, air traffic controllers, national security, the Coast Guard, law enforcement, federal prisons and national park rangers are among the functions that are still operating. But most federal buildings are closed.

The Smithsonian Institution’s museums, the National Zoo and the US Postal Service are open. The National Park Service says that the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island will reopen today.

But the Department of Health and Human Services says it will have to furlough 50% of its staff and cut back on some services. Meanwhile, military and civilian personnel will continue duty but will not be paid.

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