On Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in a press conference that she will lift the vaccine requirement for businesses and roll back the rules for indoor masking on March 1st.
The vaccine requirement, which mandated many D.C. businesses to require customers to have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine before entry, has been in place for over a month.
Although the city’s vaccine requirement will end, businesses still can require customers to show proof of vaccination.
D.C. government workers, on the other hand, will still be required to get vaccinated. And new requirements that school kids get vaccinated begin in March.
As for masking, D.C. will not require masks to be worn in restaurants, gyms, and retail stores on March 1st as well. Although, businesses are still free to require customers to wear masks, and the city will still encourage masking.
Masking requirements will still be in place in schools, public libraries, and childcare facilities.
As for COVID testing, Bowser said that it will no longer be in place in fire stations. Instead, people can go to the new COVID centers that have opened in the city.
Bowser believes that the city has reached the limit on the number of people willing to get vaccinated.
“We do believe that we’ve gotten the push out of the vaccine requirement for indoor venues that we’re going to get,” Bowser said.
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According to data from the D.C. government, approximately 93% of residents are partially or fully vaccinated, and almost 71% are fully vaccinated.
After hearing Bowser’s decision, D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau expressed her disagreement on Twitter.
As a CM, and a parent of 2 kids under 5, I am flabbergasted and angry. Why would we give up on vaccines when we have come this far? Why are we not protecting the workers in these industries? Why are we telling parents we don't care if they participate in society? I'm so F-ing mad https://t.co/Or2p68Ir9W
— Brianne K. Nadeau (@BrianneKNadeau) February 14, 2022
Bowser also stressed in the press conference that these policy changes may not be permanent.
She said, “I don’t think any of us can say there won’t be other variants that require us to do something different.”
Follow on Twitter: @ChrisSchlak