BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts State House remains closed to the public today despite most other buildings in the city welcoming visitors once again.

There is a phased plan to reopen the State House but it’s moving very slowly. House and Senate leaders defended their timeline this week, saying their top goal is safety.

According to House Speaker Ron Mariano, more than 95 percent of House lawmakers have disclosed their vaccine status. Mariano said only five State Representatives have not been vaccinated and they’ve been asked to work from home for the time being.

On the Senate side, the vaccine mandate has been well received. Senate President Karen Spilka said 100 percent of Senators and staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Which begs the question, why is the building still kept under lock and key, and why is a majority of the legislature still working remotely? State leaders were recently pressed on this topic.

“We will continue to do that work while trying to figure out what’s a safe way to reopen to include tourists, to include the public, and our workers but most importantly our workers,” said Mariano.

While this is no formal date for when the building will reopen, lawmakers say the phased plan is officially underway. They’ve added dozens of hand sanitizer dispensers around the building and put out signs to help people navigate the halls safely.

There is a lot of pressure on lawmakers to reopen the State House. After all, it is the people’s house. 22News will continue to cover this and provide you updates on the reopening plans as soon as they are available.