The White House has lifted a 40-year-old ban on taking photos during public tours of the executive mansion, delighting tourists who immediately began posting pictures on social media.
First lady Michelle Obama announced the White House’s change to its rules in a video on Instagram.
“If you’ve been on a White House tour, you may have seen this sign,” she said, holding up a placard reading “No photos or social media allowed”.
“Well, not anymore,” she said as she tore up the sign, laughing.
Some visitors posted instantly to social media, while others wanted to send the photos back home.
— World News Tonight (@WNTonight) July 1, 2015
— Sylvia Burwell (@SecBurwell) July 1, 2015
The White House said the ban was put in place more than 40 years ago to limit the damage that old flash photography could have on artwork, the first lady’s office said.
Changes in flash photography led officials to lift the ban.
However some cameras and accessories such as so-called selfie sticks are still banned, along with video cameras, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods and monopods, the White House said.
Phone cameras and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than three inches are allowed, it said.