DC lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated people

DC lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated people
© Bonnie Cash

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserOvernight Health Care: Biden tells federal workers to get vaccinated or submit to testing | President calls on states to offer 0 vaccine incentives | DC brings back indoor mask mandate starting Saturday House GOP stages mask mandate protest DC Mayor's new mask mandate sparks immediate backlash MORE (D) on Monday announced that the nation’s capital is lifting its mask mandate in most places for fully vaccinated individuals, aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance released last week.

As of Monday, fully vaccinated people in Washington, D.C., must wear a mask or practice social distancing only in settings where doing so is required, including in businesses that mandate masks, taxis and rideshares, schools, health care settings, and homeless shelters.

Washingtonians will also have to continue wearing masks on the Metro and on buses.

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Bowser told reporters that restrictions on most “public and commercial activity” in Washington, D.C., including capacity limits, will be lifted beginning Friday at 5 a.m.

Bars, nightclubs, and other sports and entertainment venues will be able to resume normal operations as of June 11. 

The mayor told reporters on Monday that the city’s number of COVID-19 cases, hospital capacity and other metrics are “moving in the right direction.”

“We continue to have confidence that those metrics are a positive indicator of where we are with the virus and the progress that we have made with the vaccine,” she said.

Bowser added that “previously, before we had a vaccine, the best way to protect yourself was to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands frequently.”

“Now, of course, your best protection is to be fully vaccinated,” she said.  

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Bowser noted that individuals who are not fully vaccinated, meaning 14 days after receiving either a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the second dose of a vaccine that requires two shots, should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing in the District.

The CDC released its guidance last week saying that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing in most settings, including both indoor and outdoor locations.

The governors of Maryland and Virginia lifted their state mask mandates last week, following the CDC’s guidance.