Washington DC Becomes Next City To Invoke Indoor Vaccine, Testing Mandates

This past week, the government of Washington D.C. announced that it’s hopping on the bandwagon with other major metropolitan tourism destinations in imposing vaccine and testing mandates for entrance to most indoor public venues, CNN reported.

On Wednesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District will soon begin requiring patrons aged 12 and over to provide proof of vaccination to enter indoor public locations, such as indoor food-and-drink establishments, fitness centers, cultural and entertainment venues and meeting and event spaces. Exceptions from the rule include grocery stores, places of worship and museums.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The policy goes into effect as of January 15, 2022, at which time patrons will need to provide evidence that they’ve had at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter most indoor establishments. Then, by February 15, they will need to supply proof of full vaccination; which means that their final dose of a vaccine will need to have been administered at least 14 days earlier.

Per Washington D.C.’s Status Update webpage, additional, more-detailed guidance is forthcoming, prior to the new policy’s effective date. An indoor mask requirement (which applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status) is already in place through at least January 31 and is subject to extension.

For domestic visitors, full vaccination, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 90 days, is required in order to enter the District without quarantining or testing. Unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated interstate travelers must adhere to quarantine and testing requirements for non-essential travel.

That means testing COVID-negative one to three days prior to arriving in D.C. and then getting tested three to five days after returning home, as well as self-quarantining at home for seven days upon their return. There are exceptions for travelers who are staying in D.C. for less than 24 hours or those who live in neighboring Maryland or Virginia.

With the ultra-contagious Omicron variant now sweeping the nation, several other major U.S. cities have already implemented vaccine and testing mandates for people entering indoor establishments. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco also now require proof of vaccination for admission to many indoor public spaces.

For more information, visit washington.org.

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