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Travel Status Update

Pennsylvania Avenue aerial photo in Washington, DC

Coronavirus information and FAQs about Washington, DC

Updated as of April 6, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Find the latest status of museums, attractions and events in and around Washington, DC during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Washington DC Coronavirus Resources

Travel Status

Currently, the White House has recommended that the American public avoid discretionary travel, which comes after it restricted travel to the U.S. from Europe. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has declared a state of emergency and public health emergency to help expedite resources in the District of Columbia, where there is currently ongoing community transmission of coronavirus (see current data). 

DC Health is preparing and monitoring the situation closely and participating in national calls with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 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.

The White House has advised to avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people. The Mayor has also placed a ban on mass gatherings over 10 people and closed all non-essential businesses in the District. DC Health recommends that any social, cultural or entertainment events where large crowds are anticipated be reconsidered by the organizer. This recommendation is in effect in Washington, DC through April 25.

The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, urging residents from those states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days, effective immediately. Read the CDC's statement and make sure to check its website for the latest updates.

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.

Resources

FAQs

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. As of March 25, all non-essential businesses in the city have been closed and gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned.

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 local museums, venues and attractions, as well as festivals and events 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, but elevator tours in the Washington Monument and other park ranger tours have been canceled until further notice. 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.

How are DC-area restaurants impacted?

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 urges the public to stay home and use Metro only if there are no other options available; 19 stations are closed including Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery and service ends at 9 p.m. daily.

Metro has reviewed its cleaning protocols and modifications where deemed effective and appropriate, based on medical guidance. Metro activated its four-phase Pandemic Flu Plan (PFP) on Jan. 29, including phase one involving monitoring and preparedness, and phase two, which readies Metro to respond quickly in the event of an outbreak in our region. On March 13, it activated phase three, the highest level of response and will include all subsequent mitigation steps required during the public health emergency. Metro expects to be at phase three until further notice, before it initiates its recovery efforts, which is phase four. Metro has set up direct lines of communication with the CDC, local and state public health authorities and other transit systems. Read more about Metro’s PFP and latest updates.

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. 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

Has the Walter E. Washington Convention Center taken steps to address safety for event- and convention-goers?

Out of an abundance of caution to its staff, their families and customers, Events DC, which owns and operates the convention center, will suspend operations and services until April 27. Events DC will continue to prioritize the health and safety of its staff, customers, partners and all related stakeholders. In addition to the convention center, the following venues that Events DC operates will be closed until April 27: Entertainment and Sports Arena, RFK Stadium, DC Armory, The Fields at RFK Campus, Skate Park at RFK Campus, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, Gateway DC and R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center. Read Events DC’s latest news update.