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DC lifts most COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits

Mayor Bowser says starting June 11, restrictions will be lifted for all establishments and venues.

WASHINGTON — D.C. lifted most COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits on May 21 following the "dramatic" improvements in health metrics in the city, according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. 

Bowser announced Monday that as of May 21, restrictions on public and commercial activities -- including capacity limits, types of activities and time restrictions -- would be lifted across the city. But the loosening of restrictions excludes bars, nightclubs, and large sports/music venues, which will operate at 50% capacity.

Bowser said starting June 11, restrictions will be lifted for all establishments and venues in the District. 

Here's a breakdown of lifted capacity limits and restrictions:

Credit: DC Government
Here's what's reopening in DC starting May 21


City health officials said that community spread is decreasing after peaking in January. Bowser said the District is going in the right direction when it comes to COVID-19 cases and vaccinations. She said residents and businesses have outperformed the metrics.

"I am proud of D.C. residents who have followed health guidance and we see it in the numbers," Bowser said.

D.C. has fully vaccinated 226,566 people since Dec. 20, 2020. City officials continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated and follow health guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19.

D.C. is looking to reevaluate the city's health emergency but Bowser said for now, the city will continue to be under a public health emergency. The D.C. Health Department will also review the announced changes on guidance and documents in the next 7-10 days.

On May 1, Bowser increased capacity limits for entertainment venues, special events, pools, recreational activities, retail stores, libraries and museums from 25% to 50%.

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