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When is Biden’s Inauguration Day 2021? Dates and times you need to know

Louise Hall
·4-min read
<p>Preparations for the inauguration by the United States Capitol Building</p> (Yegor Aleyev/TASS)

Preparations for the inauguration by the United States Capitol Building

(Yegor Aleyev/TASS)

President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president on 20 January 2021 to become the 46th president of the United States.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the recent riot on the US Capitol, this year's celebrations will look starkly different from the inaugurations of previous presidents.

When is Inauguration Day?

Inauguration day will take place on Wednesday 20 January 2021, as per the US constitution.

Mr Biden will be expected to take the oath of office at around 12pm Eastern Time at the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Follow Inauguration Day 2021 – live: Bidens attends Mass with McConnell as JLo and Bush family among first arrivals

Mr Trump’s presidency will come to an end as his term expires at noon on January 20 by law.

Where is it?

In line with tradition, the inauguration will be held in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Construction of the parade platform for Mr Biden's inauguration day has already begun ahead of the January date.

Where can I watch the proceedings?

Inauguration proceedings will be broadcast by all major American news networks and will also likely be available to stream online on their respective social media platforms.

The government's Inauguration website will be updated with further information on how to participate virtually closer to the inauguration date here.

How will celebrations be different this year?

Huge crowds usually gather leading up to the US Capitol in celebration of the inauguration, but this year's celebration may have to make unprecedented concessions amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the attack on the Capitol on 6 January by pro-Trump supporters, officials are even more eager to reduce in person celebrations and maintain high levels of security at the event.

The Washington Monument has been closed to the public amid continued threats from groups involved in last week's US Capitol riot to disturb the proceedings.

Americans are being urged not to travel to Washington, DC, and to instead participate virtually by the mayor of Washington DC and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

It was previously expected that less than 1,600 people will be allowed to attend the inauguration and mask and social distancing guidelines will be in place, and this could be even more strict now.

What will be happening?

Both the vice president-elect and president-elect will take their Oaths of Office at noon, which will then be followed by an inaugural address.

A “virtual parade” showcasing communities across the country will be televised to replace the traditional inaugural parade as the Biden’s arrive at the White House with a military presidential escort.

A lighting ceremony honouring the hundreds of thousands of lives lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic will take place the day before Inauguration Day at 5.30 pm at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

Communities across the country are invited to join the ceremony by lighting buildings and ringing church bells.

What about the election disputes?

Following an attack on the Capitol on 6 January by pro-Trump supporters, officials are even more eager to reduce in person celebrations and maintain high levels of security at the event.

The president finally conceded his election defeat in a video following an attack on the Capitol by his supporters last week saying a “new administration will be inaugurated” and committing to an orderly transfer of power.

Inauguration day effectively acts as a hard deadline to the end of Mr Trump’s one term as president, and his presidency will come to an end on that day, whether or not he has conceded.

Security officials have insisted that the event will be secure following the breach at the Capitol on 6 January, with extremely tight security around the entire capital region and at least 10,000 National Guard troops in place.

Will Donald Trump attend?

President Donald Trump has confirmed he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, marking a grave political statement.

Vice-President Mike Pence is set to attend the inauguration despite the president’s absence, reports have said.

In 2017 Barack Obama attended Mr Trump’s swearing-in on inauguration day as outgoing president alongside then outgoing vice-president Mr Biden.

Read More

A day by day events guide to Biden’s Inauguration

Where will Trump be on Inauguration Day?

How to watch Joe Biden’s inauguration

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Read the last five presidents’ inauguration speeches in full