(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Starting May 21, Washington, D.C., will begin to remove restrictions on capacity at venues and businesses that have been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an announcement made at a news conference Monday morning, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that masks would still be required in line with the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, many of the restrictions will start being lifted on May 21, with the remainder initiated starting on June 11.
On May 21, capacity restrictions will be lifted at places of worship, non-essential retail, restaurants, weddings and special events, business meetings, libraries, museums, galleries, gyms and fitness centers, office space, schools and child care centers.
On that day, nightclubs and bars will be able to operate with 50% capacity at the buildings. The waiver process will continue for both large entertainment and sports venues.
Then, on June 11, the capacity restrictions at nightclubs, large entertainment and sports venues, as well as bars will finally be dropped, too. As Bowser said at the news conference in explaining the moves:
“We are seeing dramatic improvements in our health metrics.”
The local government will also begin to return to their office for work. By June 7, as much as 50% of all government employees in Washington, D.C., will return to the office for work, Bowser said. Then, a little more than a month later (on July 12), all government employees will be required to report to the office for work.
While these restrictions are about to be lifted, Bowser still encouraged people who live, visit or work in Washington, D.C., to get vaccinated and wear a mask when they can’t social distance.
Last week Bowser tried to defend her decision to keep D.C. closed, even as neighboring Virginia was loosening its coronavirus-related restrictions. That changed rather quickly on Monday, though, when the mayor said declining COVID-19 rates in the city led officials to change their minds.
Sports teams in Washington, D.C., were very happy with the news. Starting May 14, Capital One Area — where both the NHL’s Capitals and NBA’s Wizards play — will increase capacity to 25%. On June 11, the arena will go to full capacity for fans.
Ted Leonsis, the CEO of the company that owns and operates the arena, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, said:
“We are thrilled to have the best fans in sports together with us again to see these excellent teams chase championships.”
Audi Field and Nationals Park were also both approved for waivers by the mayor, allowing the arenas to increase seating capacity to 36% starting May 14.
Devon Bridges, a spokesperson for the Washington Nationals of MLB, said:
“We want to thank Mayor Bowser and her administration for their partnership and collaboration over the past several months as we worked together on a safe and comprehensive plan to get fans back into the ballpark.”
With perhaps now the most liberal city in the country loosening restrictions, it will be interesting to see whether other Democrat-led states follow suit.