DC to lift most COVID-19 restrictions on May 21; additional restrictions to be lifted on June 11

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District will lift most of their COVID-19 restrictions -- including capacity limits at schools, gyms, offices and weddings -- on May 21 with additional restrictions to be lifted later in June.

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Bowser said restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits, types of activities, and time restrictions will be lifted on May 21. The exceptions will be at bars, nightclubs, and large sports and entertainment venues.

On June 11, capacity limits and restrictions will be lifted on those venues that cannot fully reopen on May 21.

Residents, workers, and visitors in the District will still be required to follow the most current CDC mask guidance.

The following will be allowed to operate on May 21 without capacity limits:

- Restaurants

- Weddings and Special Events

- Business Meetings and Seated Conventions

- Places of Worship

- Non-Essential Retail

- Personal Services

- Private At-Home Gatherings

- Libraries, Museums and Galleries

- Recreation Centers

- Gyms and Fitness Centers

- Pools

- Office Space

- Schools

Bars and nightclubs will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity on May 21. And will have their capacity restrictions lifted on June 11.

Large sports and entertainment venues will continue with the waiver process through May with capacity restrictions being lifted on June 11 as well.

As for the matter of no dancing allowed at wedding receptions -- a hot button issue that upset planners and venues in the District -- Bowser said that it is one of the restrictions that will be lifted on May 21.

Over 226,00 D.C. residents are now fully vaccinated, officials said Monday. Health officials also say that contact tracers are now able to reach out to 98.1 percent of COVID-19 positive cases within one day and 99.8 percent of close contacts within two days.

Mayor Bowser also released the following D.C. Government operating timeline:


Up to 25 percent return. Where agencies already exceed 25 percent by operational necessity those numbers may remain.


Up to 50 percent return. Executive, Excepted and Management Service employees required in office majority of the week.


All employees required to be set and working in new in-office work schedules.