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New COVID-19 Policies for DC Travelers

Monday afternoon DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) discussed updates to DC’s COVID-19 travel and testing procedures, election day clean up plans and DMV black restaurant week.

Out-of-town visitors to DC from “high-risk” COVID-19 states will be required to have a negative test before arriving in the District. However, they are no longer required to self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive.

COVID-19 Restrictions and Testing

As of Monday, visitors to the District need to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the conclusion of travel. If they are positive or had close contact with a positive case, they are advised not to travel.

If a visitor plans to stay in the District for more than three days, they must be tested within three to five days of arrival. Visitors, like residents, can be tested at any of the District’s free testing sites. 

District residents returning from travel should also be tested within three to five days of arrival and limit daily activities for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. 

Bowser emphasized the importance of acknowledging these protocols to curb the spread of the virus as cases are on the rise in the District. 

“We want all DC residents to heed this advisory as well as people visiting the District,” Bowser said. 

Exceptions to these regulations include Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and Vermont. 

Bowser also announced new ways that individuals can get tested for COVID-19 in their homes through at-home test kits from LabCorp or an in-person visit from Ready Responders. Bowser praised the accessibility and mobility of these District’s testing capabilities. 

“We are very proud of the robust testing structure that we have built here in the District,” Bowser said. 

Election Day Clean Up

In preparation for potential civil unrest following last week’s general election, many businesses across the District boarded up their windows. The city is now asking business owners to remove any boards or fencing that remains. 

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is coordinating with Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to arrange for disposal of plywood across the city. Business owners may also drop off plywood at 3200 Benning Road NE Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The DPW plans to repurpose the materials. 

Bowser also emphasized the importance of candidates who ran for local office to remove their signage across the city in the coming days. 

DMV Black Restaurant Week

Black restaurant week began Sunday and will run through Nov. 15. Bowser emphasized that the pandemic has been an especially difficult time for many local businesses and business owners and encouraged residents to get out and support these businesses as they are able in the coming week. 

You can learn more about how to support black-owned food and beverage businesses here.  

Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with Hill Rag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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