The National Park Service announced this morning that it is limiting access to prime cherry blossom sites across D.C. to “stop the spread of COVID-19”:

From their news release, they say this was after consulting with the CDC:

In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and DC Health and in consultation with the National Park Service Office of Public Health, the National Park Service will limit all vehicular and pedestrian access to the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park and West Potomac Park during the peak bloom period of the cherry blossoms as a public health precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

And they want you to experience it virtually this year:

The public is reminded that cherry blossom trees can be viewed at sites and parks throughout Washington, DC and are encouraged to virtually experience the trees at the Tidal Basin this year through a variety of online opportunities.

This is just sad:

Maybe the NPS can explain to us what science they’re basing this on because these outdoor events just aren’t the threat they think they are:

But, until next year — hopefully! — enjoy the photos: