DC area begins reopening: What you need to know

The D.C. area started the process of reopening Friday, with businesses opening under coronavirus-related restrictions.

Here’s a summation of where each jurisdiction stands.


The District’s Phase 1 reopening plans begin Friday following Mayor Muriel Bowser’s lifting of the stay-at-home order. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, and social distancing and face coverings are highly recommended.

Retail businesses can start to reopen. Customers can order items over the phone or online, then pick them up curbside. Customers will not be allowed into the building. Barbershops and salons will be open by appointment only and each workstation must be 6 feet apart. Waxing, threading and nail care are still prohibited.

Restaurants and bars with preapproved use of outdoor spaces, such as patios and rooftops, will be able to reopen starting Friday. They may continue offering takeout and delivery.

Some outdoor recreation spaces, such as parks, dog parks, golf courses, tennis courts and track and field areas, can reopen this weekend. Contact sports are prohibited. D.C. Parks and Recreation playgrounds, rec centers and indoor facilities will remain closed, Bowser said.

Read more about D.C.’s reopening plans.


Starting Friday, restaurants and social organizations — such as American Legions, VFWs or Elks Clubs — can reopen for outdoor dining. Outdoor youth sports may also resume.

With the positivity rate for COVID-19 testing dropping and the state showing “encouraging downward trends,” most of Maryland will be in a position to begin entering Phase II in about a week, Gov. Hogan said..

Read more about Maryland’s reopening plans.

Prince George’s County

Prince George’s County, the jurisdiction with the most COVID-19 cases in the state, will lift its safety restrictions starting at 5 p.m. Monday, June 1. Restaurants can reopen with outdoor dining; retail stores can utilize curbside pickup and manufacturing can resume. Religious institutions can open for gatherings of 10 people or fewer but should keep services online. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the formation of a Prince George’s County Forward Task Force, that will help guild the county’s reopening efforts.

Read more about Prince George’s County’s reopening plans.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County released its Phase I plans. It reopens at 6 a.m. Monday, June 1. Retail business can reopen for curbside pickup only. Bars and restaurants with outdoor seating can reopen, County Executive Mark Elrich said. He also acknowledged that many establishments do not have the proper setup. The county will help restaurant owners create more space by closing some streets in downtown areas.

 Read more about Montgomery County’s reopening plans.

Frederick County

Frederick County will begin the first phase of reopening starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Hair salons and barbershops can reopen with 50% occupancy, by appointment only. Additional cleaning and sanitation will be required, as well as face masks for employees and clients. Worship services can resume at 50% capacity and with facial coverings and social distancing.

Read more about Frederick County’s reopening plans.

Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman signed two executive orders Thursday putting in new reopening measures. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open for outdoor seating service starting 5 p.m. Friday and nonessential business can reopen to customers with protective measures. Seasonal outdoor pools will be inspected and reopened after approval starting June 5.

Read more about Anne Arundel County’s reopening plans.

Calvert County

Calvert County will allow temporary outdoor seating for bars and restaurants starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Staff must wear face coverings when interacting with customers and venues must use disposable menus and condiments. Tables must be spaced out a minimum of 9 feet apart and groups are limited to six people. Residents are reminded to stay at home and to practice social distancing in public areas.

Charles County

In Charles County, some businesses reopen on Friday. Outdoor dining, the opening of outdoor pools and other activities will be allowed. Businesses that have outdoor service can apply for a permit online on the county’s website in order to reopen. Retail business can reopen at 50% capacity, but curbside pickup and delivery are encouraged. Houses of worship can start religious services with up to 50% capacity. Some restaurants will reopen at 5 p.m.

Read more about Charles County’s reopening plans.

More Coronavirus News


Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that Virginia would stay in Phase I safety restrictions until at least June 5. While most of the state began its Phase I reopening May 15, the reopening of Northern Virginia was delayed until Friday.

Starting Friday, face coverings will be required inside public establishments. Public beaches will remain open for recreational activities but social distancing must be maintained.

Read more about Virginia’s reopening plans.


The City Council approved a plan to allow restaurants to use sidewalks and parking spaces for outdoor dining when they reopen on Friday as part of the state’s Phase I order. Restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity and must submit an application to its department of planning and zoning. Four of Alexandra’s farmers markets — Del Ray, Four Mile Run, Old Town and Old Town North — will be allowed reopen on Saturday, May 30.

Arlington County

Arlington County approved temporary outdoor seating areas for local restaurants and owners will not have to pay a fee for the permit to do so. If restaurants want to serve alcohol in an outdoor space, they would need to apply for a separate permit from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Read more about Arlington’s restaurant plan.

Fairfax County

The reopening of restaurants and gyms starts Friday. The county supervisors approved emergency rules. Outdoor use of a restaurant is limited to half of its outdoor space, while exercises businesses can use 50% of their indoor spaces.

Falls Church

Restaurants and bars in Falls Church can reopen with outdoor dining starting Friday. Establishments without outdoor space must submit an outdoor area plan to the city for approval to use sidewalks and parking lots. Tents for outdoor dining will need a permit as well as a safety inspection by the city if it plans to have lighting or other electrical usage.


Before starting its reopening plans Friday, the Leesburg Town Council approved a plan to would waive parking requirements for restaurants in order to allow for outdoor dining. Restaurants will still have to apply for a temporary permit before serving guests on their parking lots.

Some of the town’s outdoor park facilities — outdoor tennis courts, community gardens, dog parks and skate parks – will reopen Friday. Playgrounds, basketball courts and park pavilions will remain closed.

Read more about Leesburg’s restaurant plan.

Loudoun County

Loudoun County will follow Virginia’s Phase I plan. This includes allowing nonessential retail businesses to open with at a 50% percent capacity. Restaurants can also have outdoor dining, capped at 50% occupancy. Administrator Tim Hemstreet announced a new COVID-19 Testing Task Force Thursday to increase the number of coronavirus tests in the county.


Following state guidelines, restaurants and retail stores will reopen on Friday in Manassas. Several of the city’s trash and recycling services, including schedule bulk waste collection, will resume starting next month.

Read more about Manassas’ plan.

Prince William County

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining starting on Friday. Locations cannot exceed 50% occupancy, and groups are limited to 10 people. Tables must be six feet apart and outdoor setting areas should block fire lanes. Restaurants that do not have outdoor dining areas must apply for a permit.

José Umaña

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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