DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Monday that residents do not have to maintain a social distance or wear face coverings anymore if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The city’s move followed the new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) on Thursday, May 13, saying masks and physical distancing are no longer necessary for those fully vaccinated against the infectious disease “in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
A person is considered “fully vaccinated” 14 days after receiving the last dose of a COVID-19 vaccination series, which is the period of time needed for developing antibodies against the virus.
If you are in this category, you only need to wear a mask or social distance in places where it is required, including a business that has a sign that tells you to do so, as of Monday, May 17.
However, DC Health asks those who are feeling sick to stay home, even if they are fully vaccinated.
3/ Beginning today, fully vaccinated people only need to wear masks or social distance in places where it is required. You are fully vaccinated 14 days after completing your COVID-19 vaccination series. pic.twitter.com/Np3kECzAd6
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) May 17, 2021
Fully vaccinated people should also continue to carry a face covering with them, according to DC Health.
In addition to businesses that ask for it, the places requiring every resident — regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not — to wear a mask are as follows:
- On the Metro, on buses, and in taxis and ride shares as required on public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States (on an airplane, train, bus, taxi, ride-share vehicle, or at a transportation hub such as an airport or train station)
- Schools and childcare facilities
- Healthcare settings
- Homeless shelters
- Correctional facilities
Both Maryland and Virginia have lifted their mask mandates, falling in line with the CDC’s recommendations.
Starting May 21, the District is lifting most of its COVID-19-related capacity limits after more than a year. All coronavirus restrictions, including capacity limits at large entertainment venues will be lifted on June 11.