Washington, D.C., enters the second phase of its reopening plan today, Monday, June 22, in accordance with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s order, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to decline. And most of Georgetown is looking ready to move to the next level.
Among other loosened restrictions, restaurants and shops may open at 50-percent capacity inside.
“We’re looking forward to offering our full menu again to sit down customers as Georgetown starts Phase Two,” said co-founder Suzanne Simon of Chaia Tacos June 22. The specialty taco eatery offering vegan selections has been serving thousands of tacos to hospital workers and first responders since the coronavirus began, she said.
“We’ll gradually open up indoor eating to small groups of five or so at the communal table in the loft upstairs. But, for now, we will be encouraging people to take their meals to the plaza next to the shop on the canal and enjoy outdoor dining.”
“We are so happy to be opening,” said Robert Hughes, manager of Violet Hair Salon & Spa on Wisconsin Avenue, “although we will only be utilizing about half of the staff of stylists, colorists, shampooists and manicurists at a time. All our staff will alternate daily shifts from about 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and by appointment only.”
Less than half of the regular stations will be utilized in order to observe strict social distancing, Hughes added. All customers and staff members, who have learned how to use enhanced protective drapes and procedures with each client, will have to wear face coverings at all times.
“My biggest concern is making rent payments,” said Mesut Ozaydin, owner of Violet. “This year we had just expanded the shop, but even at full service our profit margins were thin. Now, during the coronavirus limited services, we won’t be able to cover all employee compensation and full rent. We’ll have to see how fast we rebuild to see how long we can exist. But we definitely will need some breaks from our landlord and banks to survive for a while.”
“I am so happy that boutique shops like mine can open again along Wisconsin Avenue this week,” said Maryam Amirmajdi, owner of Jaryam’s boutique for lingerie, swimwear and clothing. “I just hope everyone — including my immediate neighbor — now will take down the plywood boards covering their shops’ windows and doors so that Georgetown can look welcoming again.”
Along with in-person visits allowed at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday, June 23 (see below), here are more details on this week’s reopening from the mayor:
District government will continue to operate on a modified telework posture. In Phase Two, mass gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.
Houses of worship may open at half-capacity or with a maximum of 100 persons, whichever is lower. Singing is discouraged.
The Department of Parks and Recreation will open playgrounds and playing fields for casual contact sports only. Its pools will be open only for lessons and lap swimming — not for open swimming.
Also permitted to open will be nail, waxing and tanning salons, as well as tattoo parlors — by appointment only and with stations six feet apart. Gyms, fitness centers and yoga and dance studios can open with a limit of five persons per 1,000 square feet of space. Equipment and participants must be 10 feet apart. Summer camps can open to groups of 10 or fewer campers.
Libraries may reopen at 50-percent capacity. Theaters and other entertainment venues may apply for waivers to hold events.
DMV to Resume In-Person Services
The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will resume in-person services on Tuesday, June 23, as part of Phase Two. The public will be required to make appointments for most DMV services as the District continues efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Mayor Bowser, the service changes beginning Tuesday, June 23, are as follows:
· All service centers, adjudication services and the Brentwood Commercial Driver’s License Office will operate on an “appointment only” basis. Appointments can be scheduled online at dmv.dc.gov/page/dmv-appointment-details.
· The Inspection Station will operate on a first-come, first-served basis with modified hours.
· The Self-Service Vehicle Emissions Inspection Kiosk will re-open with 24/7 access.
Road skills tests will resume on June 30.
As a reminder, deadline and expiration dates for D.C. DMV services are extended as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Specifically:
· The expiration date for all documents expiring March 1 through the duration of the public health emergency — including driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, inspections, ticket payments and ticket adjudication responses — has been extended until 45 days after the health emergency concludes.
· All driver licenses, vehicle registrations and vehicle inspections scheduled to expire have been granted a waiver without penalty until D.C. DMV reopens at full operating capacity.
· All tickets will remain in their current status — with no additional penalties — for the duration of the public health emergency. In the interim, the public is encouraged to request adjudication and pay tickets online.
· All driver license suspensions and revocations will be paused until D.C. DMV returns to full operating capacity.
Visit coronvirus.dc.gov/phasetwo for more information.