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Changes to Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated

As of Monday, May 17, the District’s mask mandate has changed: fully vaccinated people need only wear a mask where it’s required –like in businesses that tell you you have to.

The change in mask mandate is effective immediately, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said at a Monday press conference. Although it is being billed by many as a “lifting” of the mask mandate, it is still in force in certain situations.

Everyone must still wear a mask:

  • On public transit
  • In schools/daycares
  • At healthcare facilities
  • In businesses or workplaces that indicate it is required

—even if they are fully vaccinated, and they should still have a mask when they leave the house, the Mayor said. DC Health is expected to issue additional guidance for schools, daycares, summer camps and “business operations.”

Situational Update May 17, 2021. coronavirus.dc.gov

The news comes as DC prepares to relax the Phase Two restrictions. On Friday, May 21, at 5 a.m., restrictions will be lifted on most activitues, including capacity limits, types of activities, and time restrictions. The remainder remain in place until Friday, June 11, when nightclubs and large sports and entertainment venues will be able to resume full normal operations.

Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing whenever they leave the house, Bowser said. She emphasized that doing so protects the immunocompromised and those unable to receive the vaccine, such as children under the age of 12.

Fully vaccinated people are those who received the second dose of their vaccine (or the single dose Johnson and Johnson) more than 14 days ago.

See full guidance and Phase Two updates at coronavirus.dc.gov/phasetwo


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