Government shutdown shutters Independence Hall, Liberty Bell

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Local impact from government shutdown. Nydia Han reports during Action News Mornings on January 21, 2018. (WPVI)

The federal government shutdown has shuttered the Philadelphia sites where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed and the Liberty Bell hangs.

Security guards stood around Independence Hall on Saturday, shooing away people who got too close. A park ranger did the same at the doorway into the building that surrounds the bell.

But the visitors' center at Independence National Historical Park remained open Saturday.

Dozens of visitors still gathered around the cobblestone street that divides the two monuments, snapping photographs of the tall white tower atop Independence Hall. Some also shot photos of the bell, which was visible through a window.

In addition, all park buildings, including the Visitor Center and all restrooms at Valley Forge National Historic Park are closed, due to the National Park Service being unable to fully staff the property.

However, park grounds, roads, trails and parking areas will remain open to the public.

Park visitors are asked to use caution if choosing to enter the property, as park personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response.

Meantime, the City of Philadelphia issued this statement:

"Philadelphia residents and visitors are advised that today's partial shutdown of the federal government has no immediate impact on City services and operations.

All City of Philadelphia offices will be open as scheduled on Monday, January 22, 2018. All 24/7 public safety services, including police, fire, public health, and EMS operations, are also unaffected.

City officials will offer further guidance in the coming week as to any possible local impact, should the federal shutdown continue for an extended period of time."

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