Speed Reads

Speed Reads

D.C. lifts indoor vaccine mandate, mask mandate to follow March 1

Washington D.C., lifted its short-lived indoor vaccine mandate on Tuesday and plans to lift its mask mandate on March 1, Axios reports.

The vaccine mandate, which took effect on Jan. 15, required "all patrons aged 12 or older to show proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they are allowed entry" to bars, restaurants, sporting venues, convention centers, and other establishments. Gym patrons had to remain masked even on treadmills.

The requirement was scheduled to increase to two doses on Feb. 15. Instead, it was dropped altogether.

The return to pre-COVID normalcy is not total, however. According to Axios, even after March 1, "masks will still be required in some places, including schools … nursing facilities, childcare facilities, and libraries."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the decision after concluding the city is in "a much better place" than it was during the height of the Omicron variant spike. Case numbers are down 42 percent since the beginning of February and have almost returned to pre-Omicron levels, per Axios.

Bowser is not the only Democrat rolling back COVID restrictions. Earlier this month, the Democratic governors of Colorado, New Jersey, and New York all dropped their states' mask mandates.