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.
Washington, DC’s Reopening Plan
On Friday, May 21, restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits and types of activities will be lifted for most activities, including at meetings and seated conventions, weddings and special events, museums, restaurants and retail.
Starting Friday, June 11, capacity restrictions will be lifted at bars, nightclubs, and large sports and entertainment venues.
From May 21-June 11, bars and nightclubs may operate at 50% capacity, and waivers are necessary at large sports and entertainment venues.
Residents and visitors are required to follow the CDC’s mask guidance. Read DC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people.
Through May 20, DC will remain in Phase 2 of reopening, with guidance.
Phase Two Reopening Guidance - Through May 20
Washington, DC is currently in Phase Two of reopening.
Mask guidance dictates that masks are required on public transportation. Unvaccinated people are required to wear a mask when leaving their residence and likely to come within six feet of others.
Regional business meetings and conventions may take place indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity, with city waivers required for more than 250 people. Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.
Outdoor dining and carry out/delivery may continue. Restaurants can sell alcohol until midnight and indoor dining capacity remains at 25 percent (or up to 250 people). 10 people may sit at a table. Live music will be allowed outdoors, controlled by the restaurants. If customers are sitting outside, alcohol sales are allowed without purchasing food.
Museums, galleries and exhibits will be able to operate indoors and outdoors at 50% capacity.
Non-essential retail indoors and outdoors will be able to operate at 50% capacity (250 people max).
Seated live entertainment (i.e. theater) will be allowed at 25% capacity (up to 500 people).
Sports: field permits will be issued for spring seasons, and professional sports may operate pursuant to a waiver. Anticipated capacity is for 10,000 fans at Nationals Park; 5,000 at Audi Field; 2,100 at Capital One Arena and 450 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Outdoor races will be allowed at 50% capacity (i.e. 5Ks).
Weddings and special events will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity (with a waiver for attendance greater than 250). Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.
School graduations and award ceremonies will be allowed indoors and outdoors with capacity limits.
Live music will be allowed near outdoor restaurant seating.
Libraries will be able to operate at 50% capacity.
Recreation centers will be able to operate indoors at 50% capacity.
Movie theaters will be able to operate at 25% capacity.
Indoor and outdoor public pools will be allowed to open at 50% capacity.
Outdoor splash pads will be allowed to open at full capacity.
DC Travel Requirements
Fully Vaccinated DC Residents and Visitors (May 1, 2021) may:
Travel domestically without testing for COVID-19 unless required by the destination
Resume activities (in DC) after domestic travel without quarantining
Travel internationally from DC without getting tested or quarantining after unless required by the destination; but must show a negative test before boarding a flight back to the U.S. and get tested 3-5 days after returning.
To know: fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days after the second dose of a 2-dose series, or after one dose of a single-dose vaccine
The District Government issued updated travel requirements, effective March 3, 2021, for anyone traveling into Washington, DC. The testing requirement is waived if an individual has been fully vaccinated and does not have COVID-19 symptoms. The requirement is also waived for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and don't have symptoms. Private institutions and local government officials may ask for proof of a negative test. It is recommended to travel with your vaccination card with you in case documentation is required. If you have not yet been fully vaccinated:
Additional exceptions to the testing requirements as of April 5:
DC residents returning to the District after traveling to any place other than Maryland, Virginia or a low-risk state or country must limit daily activities and self-monitor for 10 days upon their return OR limit daily activities and get tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days of returning to DC. If experiencing symptoms, isolate at home until the test results return.
Travel – Travelers must abide by the latest travel requirements (see above). 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. For those who meet the criteria to travel, 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.
DC needs everyone in our community to pre-register for a vaccination appointment by going to vaccinate.dc.gov or calling 1-855-363-0333. Already vaccinated or pre-registered? Reach out to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors and help them pre-register. Together, we can save lives and end this pandemic.
DC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people is here, including guidelines about when it’s okay to skip wearing a mask (i.e. small outdoor gatherings away from crowds). If not fully vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask in public.
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. 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 and galleries may reopen with limited capacity of up to 250 people in enclosed rooms or exhibit spaces (Museums and Exhibits). Tours are not allowed.
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. Restaurants may serve diners indoors at 25 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. 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?
Announced April 5, the vaccine clinic at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will expand through a partnership with Safeway. Appointments must be booked through vaccinate.dc.gov and the call center. The convention center also published its Back to Business Guide, a 40-page document detailing new health and safety technologies and guidelines for meeting in person. Read more Events DC news updates.
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