Travel restrictions updated to include COVID-19 testing for visitors to DC

DC Health and Mayor Muriel Bowser have announced updates to travel restrictions for the district that include requiring COVID-19 tests for visitors.

Starting Monday, visitors will be asked to get tested for COVID-19 with 72 hours of traveling to D.C. Visitors should not travel to the district if their test is positive or if they are a close contact of a confirmed positive case.

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Visitors to D.C. for more than three days are also asked to get an additional test in the district within three to five days of arrival.

Mayor Bowser made the announcement at a press conference Thursday where she made clear public city officials would not be checking visitors for negative tests. However, Mayor Bowser says private institutions, such as universities, hotels, hospitals, houses of worship and other private congregate facilities are allowed to ask visitors about their recent travel and may require a record of a negative COVID-19 test before entering their facilities. 

There are several exemptions to the new restrictions which include:

- Visitors from Maryland and Virginia

- People coming to D.C. for essential work (a first test is still required, but these workers may carry out their duties prior to receiving the results of their second test in the district as long as they do not have symptoms or were not a close contact of a positive case within the last 14 days) 

- Visitors coming to D.C. for less than 24 hours

- People traveling to D.C. for a family emergency or funeral (a negative test is not required if obtaining one would be impractical, but they must restrict their activities to those related to their emergency)

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D.C. residents returning to the district after traveling to any place other than Maryland, Virginia or a low-risk state or country must either: 

- Limit daily activities and self-monitor for 14 days upon their return

- Limit daily activities until they get tested for COVID-19 and return a negative result

Mayor Bowser also announced that at-home COVID-19 tests are now available through Labcorp. D.C. residents can pay for a test, use insurance or utilize federal funds to cover the cost of the test. More information on at-home tests can be found here.