Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that the city will end its vaccine mandate for businesses beginning Tuesday, February 15, and lift indoor mask mandates beginning March 1.
“Cases have dropped more than 90 percent and there has been a 95 percent reduction in hospitalizations, and we are in a much better place now to announce adjustments,” Bowser said during a press conference on Monday.
The ending of the vaccine mandate marks a victory for Republicans who had pushed back against it in the nation’s capital, and a victory for Big Board, a D.C. restaurant that refused to enforce the mandate.
The ending of the mandates also come as polls show there has been increasing public frustration with coronavirus restrictions. Some Democrat governors have in recent weeks announced the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. The D.C. mask mandate ends on the day President Joe Biden is scheduled to give his State of the Union address.
Several Democratic governors in states such as New York and New Jersey have also announced the lifting of mask mandates in recent days.
Beginning March 1, masks will no longer be required for restaurants, bars, gyms, sports venues, houses of worship, grocery stories, pharmacies, retail stores, or any retail establishments in Washington, DC.
However, masks will still be required in schools, childcare facilities, libraries, nursing homes and other congregate facilities, healthcare and medical facilities, on public transportation, and in D.C. government facilities that have interaction with the public. Private businesses can still require masks if they so choose, the new guidelines say.
On March 1, masks will continue to be required at a number of locations, including schools. pic.twitter.com/c8Fwfy15sk
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 14, 2022