DC to Drop Mandates on Masks, Proof of COVID Vaccination – NBC4 Washington

D.C.’s mayor announced the mask mandate will be allowed to expire on Feb. 28, an end date that was previously set but that the mayor could have pushed back. 

The District’s indoor mask requirements will be “dialed” back on March 1. Masks will not be required in the following places:

  • restaurants and bars
  • sports and entertainment venues
  • gyms
  • houses of worship
  • grocery stores

On March 1, masks will still be required in the following places:

  • Any private business that requires their use
  • schools
  • child care facilities
  • libraries
  • public transit, taxis and ride share vehicles
  • D.C. government facilities with direct interaction between employees and the public, such as DMV service centers.

Starting Tuesday, proof of vaccination will no longer be required in public places such as restaurants and entertainment venues. Any private business that wants to require use of masks by its employees or customers still will be able to do so. 

The announcement comes as D.C. sees improvements in its COVID metrics, and jurisdictions in the D.C. area and across the country lift restrictions.

COVID-19 cases have dropped by more than 90% in the District, since the height of the Omicron wave, according to DC Health. There’s also been a 95% reduction in hospitalizations.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said pulling back mask mandates is not a premature move.

“We have to be nimble if something is to change, like it changed in December with a new, very contagious variant,” Bowser said. “I don’t think any of us can say here that there won’t be other variants that would require us to do something different.”

The District will also scale back testing sites. After Feb. 26 COVID-19 testing will no longer be available at fire houses.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.