Bowser Adjusts COVID Restrictions, Discourages Thanksgiving Travel


Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an array of rollbacks to D.C.’s Phase Two restrictions amid the latest increase in COVID-19 case rates and deaths across the nation. She also discouraged traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Washingtonians are strongly encouraged not to travel for Thanksgiving and to celebrate the holiday at home with your household,” Bowser said. “If you do have anyone in your home, wear masks, social distance, practice good hygiene and remember that outdoors is better than indoors. Avoid physical contact even when greeting people and saying goodbye, and do not seat people from different households close together.”

As for D.C. quarantine and testing requirements for those arriving from other states, all states (Maryland and Virginia are exempt) except Hawaii remain high-risk.

Testing capacity continues to expand. Newly opened is the site at Nationals Park, with morning/daytime hours from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and afternoon/evening hours from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. More than seven sites are open around the city (closed on Thanksgiving); no appointments are necessary. It is helpful to preregister at coronavirus.dc.gov/register. Also, Bowser reminded: “Remember that testing has its limitations and does not replace the need to wear masks, social distance and practice good hygiene.”

Phase Two adjustments, as follows, will go into effect this Wednesday, Nov. 25.

  • The limit for outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 50 to 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings may not exceed 10 people. This applies to indoor home gatherings as well as to any indoor gathering not subject to other rules (e.g., restaurants and houses of worship).
  • Restaurants may stay open until midnight, but alcohol sales, service and consumption (excluding carryout and delivery) must end at 10 p.m. Effective Monday, Dec. 14, the maximum indoor capacity of restaurants will be reduced from 50 to 25 percent.
  • The number of people inside houses of worship indoors at any one time has been reduced from 100 to 50. Maximum allowable capacity is reduced from 50 to 25 percent. The lower of these two numbers is the maximum capacity at any one time indoors for houses of worship. Virtual services, rather than in-person services, continue to be encouraged.
  • Gyms, private trainers and other businesses and recreation centers must suspend all indoor group exercise classes and all outdoor group exercise classes of 25 or more people.
  • The live entertainment pilot has been temporarily suspended. Entities previously granted a waiver for the live entertainment pilot will be contacted about their ability to proceed with acts or performances that have already been booked.

Knowing the negative impact these restrictions will have on small businesses, Bowser said that D.C. government has launched two new websites today: shopinthedistrict.com and, to order local food and drink, dctogogo.com.

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