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Travel Status Update
Coronavirus information and FAQs about Washington, DC
Find the latest status of museums, attractions and events in and around Washington, DC during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are out in DC, you are required to wear a mask, with a few exceptions for vigorous exercise or while you’re actively eating or drinking. A self-quarantine of 14 days is required after participating in non-essential travel to/from high-risk areas (see list of states below) when returning or traveling to Washington, DC, beginning July 27. As of June 22, Washington, DC is in Phase Two of reopening.
As of Oct. 19, the list of states included in the Mayor’s order are below.
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Travel – Non-essential travel outside of the DC area is discouraged. Do not travel if sick, with someone who is sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Continue social distancing and wear masks in public, especially indoors. If you are on essential travel, as defined by the Mayor’s March 30 order, you are required to self-monitor for symptoms and limit activities to the extent possible. Read more.
Restaurants – Service is open for outdoor dining, and indoor dining at 50-percent capacity. Bar areas are only open for seating without a bartender present. Tables are limited to 6 people max. Read more.
Museums/Exhibits/Events – Museums, galleries and the National Zoo may open but with limited capacity of up to 50 people in enclosed rooms or exhibit spaces. Events are permitted but with a max capacity of 50 people. Employees and patrons should socially distance and wear face coverings at all times. Food service cafes and retail are allowed to open in line with industry standards. Guided tours and large group tours are not allowed. Read more.
Parks/Gardens/Recreation - Dog parks, golf courses, parks (but not playgrounds), tennis courts, tracks and fields opened in Phase One. Capacity for public gatherings is now at 50 people. Visitors should socially distance and remain 6 feet from one another. Recreation centers, bowling alleys, climbing gyms, squash or racquet clubs, skating rinks and skateboard parks may open with a 50-person capacity or at 50 percent capacity in Phase Two. Playgrounds remain closed. Read more. Outdoor attractions like the National Park Service Sites, Monuments and Memorials at the National Mall and around the city remain open.
Theaters/Cinemas/Entertainment Centers – These venues can open if granted a waiver to ensure social distance measures, contact tracing and other safety protocols by Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) to hold an arts, entertainment or cultural event. Read more.
Retail – Nonessential retail businesses may open to customers for indoor shopping if the number of persons in the establishment is at 50 percent occupancy and common areas are clearly marked for social distancing. Barbershops and hair salons opened in Phase One with select services, Phase Two allows the reopening of tanning, tattoo, waxing, threading, electrolysis, cryotherapy, facial and other skin services and nail salons, requiring one client per employee, face coverings at all times and social distancing. Read more.
Transportation – Non-essential ridesharing in a taxi or rideshare vehicle is permitted. if ill, unless it is absolutely necessary, and not use carpool options. Wear face coverings and socially distance as much as possible. Read more. Metro will restore most service to pre-COVID-19 levels beginning Aug. 16. Customers should socially distance and are required to wear face coverings when traveling Metro.
Visitors to Washington, DC should follow the protective steps outlined by the CDC:
- Wash hands often, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cough into your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
- Consult with a doctor before traveling when sick
- Stay up to date on vaccinations
- Avoid traveling if you are sick
- Avoid contact with people who are already sick
- Avoid contact with animals while traveling
- Be aware of latest travel advisories from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State
- Get a flu vaccine
- Take everyday precautions to stop the spread of germs
- Take flu antivirals if prescribed
Note: Older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
- CDC travel notices
- DC government coronavirus website
- CDC COVID-19 webpage
- WHO COVID-19 webpage
- List of reopened DC businesses
Should I travel to Washington, DC?
The health and safety of visitors to Washington, DC is Destination DC's top priority. The organization is committed to providing travelers with up-to-date information about traveling to the city. Destination DC recommends travelers follow the latest information from the CDC, noting its protective tips (above) and higher risks for older individuals and those with preexisting health conditions, and stay current on the latest updates from the DC government.
How has the District of Columbia government taken steps to address coronavirus?
Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia, signed a Mayor’s Order outlining the District’s monitoring, preparation and response. DC Health and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency are leading the response. The organization created a new website featuring the latest DC government coronavirus information. The city announced Phase Two reopening for Monday, June 22. To understand when DC is ready to move between stages, DC Health is monitoring level of community spread (e.g., low transmission rate), healthcare system capacity (e.g., sufficient healthcare capacity without surge), testing capacity (e.g., ability to test all priority groups) and public health system capacity (e.g., sufficient contact tracing capacity for all new cases and their close contacts). If travelers exhibit symptoms and are concerned that they might have coronavirus while in Washington, DC, please call DC Health’s hotline at 844-493-2652.
What is Destination DC doing to prepare visitors and the hospitality community for coronavirus?
Destination DC is working daily in coordination with industry partners including the U.S. Travel Association, Events DC, the Hotel Association of Washington, DC, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and local officials in line with guidance from the CDC to communicate current information and best practices.
Have any museums, monuments, attractions or venues closed or have major festivals and events been canceled?
Please find status updates on what's open and what's been closed or canceled in and around Washington, DC. We urge visitors to confirm the status of upcoming events and major attractions before making plans to visit.
National Mall and Memorial Parks grounds remain open. The National Park Service (NPS) Office of Public Health and the U.S. Public Health Service officers assigned to the NPS are closely monitoring the situation and keeping park staffs informed, relying on the most updated data and information from the CDC. Museums, galleries and the National Zoo may reopen with limited capacity of up to 50 people in enclosed rooms or exhibit spaces (detailed guidance: Museums and Exhibits). Tours are allowed with physical distancing.
How are DC-area restaurants impacted?
Eateries are allowed to serve diners outdoors, with tables six feet apart and groups of no larger than six. Many DC-area restaurants have begun converting outdoor spaces to accommodate the new standards. Starting June 22, restaurants may serve diners indoors at 50 percent capacity. Diners are encouraged to wear face coverings when not eating and to avoid going out if feeling sick. Check with individual restaurants to ensure they have outdoor or available indoor dining space before going out to eat. Note that diners will be asked to provide their name, contact info and time of arrival to keep dining records that will be saved for at least 30 days. Takeout and delivery service remains a safe dining option.
The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is in constant conversation with relevant government agencies, lodging and hospitality partners and the National Restaurant Association to ensure the organization and the local dining community has the most up to date information. Read more from RAMW here.
How is Metro affected and how is it ensuring safety for its riders?
Metro has released preliminary details of a phased recovery plan, ramping up service ahead of demand based on the reopening stage. Face masks are required. View Metro’s COVID-19 status updates here. Find additional local transportation information at goDCgo.
What are airports doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic?
Reagan National and Dulles International airports remain in close coordination with federal partners at the CDC, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, TSA and state and local health departments and emergency management agencies in preparedness activities. Beginning May 29, face coverings are required at Reagan National and Dulles International airports. Read more from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
What are hotels doing to ensure guest safety?
Regional hotels are implementing proactive strategies, following CDC guidelines and monitoring the information from local government agencies as they manage this issue with the wellbeing of hotel guests being of paramount concern. Find a list of hotels that are currently open.
What is the status of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center?
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has been prepared to be used as a temporary alternate care site to help alleviate strain on DC’s hospital system on a month-to-month basis. In coordination with Mayor Bowser’s office, HSEMA, DC Health and Events DC, the Army Corp of Engineers oversaw the construction. Mayor Bowser has stressed that the goal is to be ready, but to not have to use the Center in this way. Read Events DC news updates.