Capitol building
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The US House of Representatives is lifting its mask mandate ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this week, The Hill reported on Sunday.

In a letter, Capitol Physician Brian Monahan shared the changes with lawmakers returning to Washington this week.

"Individuals may choose to mask at any time, but it is no longer a requirement," he wrote.

Monahan said positive COVID-19 test rates at the Capitol are down to 2.7 percent in the last two weeks, below the current rate for the DC-Metropolitan area (4.7 percent).

The moves comes after the CDC on Friday eased its mask recommendation for most Americans, advising that people living in communities with "low" or “medium” COVID-19 levels can go without masks.

Monahan said in his letter other "coronavirus risk reduction measures" would remain in place for the State of The Union address, "with the exception that, KN95 or N95 mask wear is no longer required and mask wear is now an individual choice option.”

The House had been following a mask mandate since July, in line with guidance from the CDC at the time to limit the spread of the virus. The Senate never adopted a mask mandate.

Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.