DC to Relax Some More COVID-19 Restrictions in May

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D.C. will relax some more COVID-19 restrictions May 1.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said she wants to wait until after the predicted fourth surge hits the D.C. region.

The mayor is cautiously optimistic about the leveling off of new cases and the increasing number of people getting vaccinated.

“We can expect to see some increases in cases this month, but with vaccinations and continued safeguards, we expect that later into the spring those cases will come down,” Bowser said.

Beginning May 1:

  • Seated live entertainment venues indoors and outdoors will be allowed to reopen to 25% of capacity or 500 people, whichever is less;
  • Movie theaters can reopen at 25% capacity;
  • Live music will be allowed near outdoor restaurant seating;
  • Weddings, special events, regional business meetings and conventions can operate at 25% capacity or 250 people, whichever is less;
  • Graduations will be allowed, with unspecified limits, details of which Bowser said will come soon;
  • Non-essential retail will operate at 50% capacity indoors and outdoors;
  • Libraries, museums and galleries can reopen at 50% indoors and outdoors;
  • Indoor and outdoor public pools, as well as indoor recreation centers, can reopen at 50%;
  • Outdoor splash pads can reopen at full capacity;
  • Outdoor races such as 5Ks can resume at 50% capacity.

D.C. Director of Health pointed to the tight restrictions still in place as the reason D.C.’s numbers are heading in the right direction.

“What we have been able to do here in the District through the mayor’s leadership is take a very cautious and deliberate approach in terms of number of high-risk activities that are turned back on in the District over time,” Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said. “It’s because of this stewardship that we are plateaued instead of surging.”

The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.

Bowser’s not ready to increase capacity above 5,000 fans at Nats games or allow any fans inside Capital One Arena. She said she will reexamine the pro sports restrictions later this month.

The Caps and Wizards regular season ends in May, and it appears we will complete the ‘20-‘21 season with no fans in attendance,” Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chief Administrative Officer and President of External Affairs Monica Dixon said.

Bowser also announced a new high-capacity vaccination site will open Friday at Arena Stage.

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