Mayor announces next step in D.C. reopening plan


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the next steps in the city’s reopening plan and relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions.

In continuing the slow and steady approach to opening up the District, Mayor Bowser announced much of the entertainment industry will be able to reopen at 25 percent capacity starting May 1.

She said, “We’re going to do a look ahead, right now a month out, and we continue to want to get venues turned on that have not had any activity.”

Entertainment venues will be able to open with 25 percent or up to 500 people, while movie theaters will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants may have live music playing in outdoor settings under the new guidelines.

Weddings and event venues, as well as business conventions, will be able to operate with 25 percent capacity, but much have a waiver from the city if it is more than 250 people.

Mayor Bowser said, “We will continue to follow sound principles that have gotten us to this point and try to predict as much as possible moving through the spring and into the summer.”

The mayor is also opening up public pools at 50 percent capacity and will allow outdoor races to operate at 50 percent capacity. Outdoor splash pads will also be able to fully open.

While COVID-19 metrics have seemed to plateau in the District, D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said that is acceptable when looking at other parts of the country, where numbers are going up.

She explained, “What we have been able to do here in the District is take a very cautious and deliberate approach in terms of the number of high-risk activities that have turned back on in the District.”

Mayor Bowser added, “We know that we can expect to see some increases in cases this month but with vaccination and continued safeguards, we believe that those cases will come down.”

As residents enjoy springtime and reopened venues, the Mayor reminded them to stay the course.

“Continue to use the tools we’ve been using. Wearing a mask, social distancing, practicing hand hygiene and prioritizing outdoor activities,” she said.

The Mayor’s Office will be releasing specific capacity limits for graduation and awards ceremonies sometime this week.

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