Several COVID-19 rules and regulations will be lifted or amended across D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Most of these changes follow a national shift toward an “endemic phase” in the pandemic, changing case rates across jurisdictions, expected coronavirus-related protests and continued vaccine hesitancy.
Here’s what you need to know if you are navigating mask mandates, vaccine card requirements and pandemic precautions in the D.C. area.
Though a COVID-19 omicron subvariant remains under D.C. Health’s watch, the District’s mask mandates and other precautions are already beginning to slip away — most notably the citywide proof of vaccine requirement for some venues that ended on Feb. 15.
- By March 1: The D.C.-wide indoor mask mandate will officially end.
- Masks will still be required in schools per a city rule and on public transportation as federally mandated.
- Masks will also be required to enter some government facilities, medical facilities, shelters and libraries.
KN95 masks remain available to D.C. residents at the city’s COVID centers.
Masks mandates have been up in the air for weeks — hearkening back to Montgomery County’s shift away from, and then quick return to masking indoors. Those issues, however, are becoming past, not present, problems.
- Feb. 22: Mask mandates in state buildings will be lifted. Gov. Larry Hogan made this decision citing dramatic declines in health metrics.
- The Maryland State Board of Education voted to lift its statewide school mask mandate and allow local school boards to adopt their own policies. The mask mandate will be lifted March 1.
- Mask mandates were lifted for students in Anne Arundel County.
- School systems can make their own rules once 80% of their population have been vaccinated or Centers for Disease Control data on transmission rates are low to moderate for 14 days.
- Feb. 22: Mask mandates in Montgomery County will end.
- By March 9: At 5 p.m., Prince George’s County’s indoor mask mandate will end unless otherwise extended.
- On Feb. 26: Loudoun Co. announced that its mask requirement inside of all county facilities would end based on the CDC’s new COVID-19 guidance.
- By March 1: All public schools must allow Virginia parents to opt students out of wearing masks.
Locally, some jurisdictions like Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun have held mask mandates or other face-covering requirements. However, there is no statewide requirement for mask use in Virginia.