D.C. is getting back to some sense of normalcy, lifting mask and social distancing requirements for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The city lifted most restrictions and capacity limits at 5 a.m. Friday.
Masks do still need to be worn on public transportation and in health care settings. They also are required at schools, both indoors at school and outdoors at school sporting events. Masks still need to be worn in homeless shelters and correctional facilities.
Businesses can still require masks. They are encouraged to make sure their workers are masked and vaccinated. Apple, for example, has said it will still require masks in its stores, WTOP’s Neal Augenstein reported.
Apple has said masks will be required — unclear whether people will be browsing later today. pic.twitter.com/7YW4xEsA4Q
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) May 21, 2021
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has said that the public needs to follow individual businesses’ guidance.
“If a business posts a sign indicating that masks are required, then you must wear a mask to go in. Pay attention to and please respect the signs,” she tweeted.
If a business posts a sign indicating that masks are required, then you must wear a mask to go in. Pay attention to and please respect the signs. pic.twitter.com/im7GvM2oGz
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) May 18, 2021
Augenstein said he was “surprised” that his mindset was that he and his loved ones protected now that anyone who wants the vaccine can get it.
“So it’s time to see what happens,” he said. “It’s been a while since the honor system was tried. Hope it works.”
Capacity restrictions are lifted at restaurants, places of worship, gyms, pools, libraries, weddings and special events in the District.
Bars and nightclubs around the city are still operating under a 50% capacity limit.
On June 11, all capacity limits will be eliminated, including those on large entertainment venues.
The move to lift mask mandates aligns with updated coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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D.C. has seen 1,125 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, the latest of which was a 66-year-old woman earlier this week. Hospitalizations currently are at their lowest level since August. Eighty people remain hospitalized with COVID-19. In total, 48,662 people have tested positive for coronavirus and 34,462 have recovered.
Vaccinations continue at walk-up sites around the city.
WTOP’s Neal Augenstein, Anna Gawel and Will Vitka contributed to this story.