x

Travel

Washington DC Aims for Full Reopening, with Masks, by June 11

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C., is emerging from its pandemic quarantine.

With COVID-19 numbers dropping, officials in the nation's capital have announced a reopening timeline that would see all indoor capacity limits eliminated by early June, but with mask requirements still in place.

Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a two-stage plan on Monday, with capacity restrictions on most indoor activities lifting on May 21, with the exception of bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues. Those final categories would see their capacity limits removed by June 11. 

The two dates represent a pair of major crossroads moments for Washington, both for the daily lives of its residents and for its hospitality-heavy economy, driven by tourism and conventions.

"We are quickly and enthusiastically approaching containment level of the virus in our jurisdiction," said Health Department Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. "But in the ensuing weeks, we continue to need to remain vigilant."

Virus metrics show daily case rates are down to levels not seen since last summer. Nesbitt said contract tracing for new virus cases "would remain a 24/7 operation."

As of May 10, Bowser said more than 200,000 D.C. residents had been fully vaccinated. She also announced that the overflow field hospital that took over Washington's convention center last year would be dismantled.

"I'm grateful we never had to use it," Bowser said. 

The D.C. government will be bringing its work-from-home employees back to their offices in stages. Bowser said that by July 12, all D.C. government employees will be working at least part time from the office. 

The May 21 shift will lift all capacity restrictions on restaurants, gyms, schools, offices and houses of worship. Bowser said she expected to approve a waiver request from Monumental Sports, owners of the Capitals and Wizards, to immediately increase attendance capacity from 10% to 25% for potential playoff games. The Capitals are solidly in the NHL playoffs, while the Wizards are fighting for the final spot in the NBA's Eastern Conference play-in tournament. 

Bowser has generally proceeded more cautiously on easing restrictions than her neighbors in Virginia and Maryland. In many cases, the surrounding counties in southern Maryland and northern Virginia that comprise the capital region have chosen to stay closer to Bowser's conservative line.

Bowser on Monday said she has "worked, I think, very cooperatively over the last 15 months" with Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. "The states of Maryland and Virginia are bigger than this region, obviously, so they need to do some different things that impact their whole state, where we've been very focused on the capital region."

RELATED

RETHYMNO – Domisi Development CEO Stavros Kapetanakis spoke with The National Herald about the Crete-based company that designs and builds detached houses and tourist complexes and about Crete Holiday Home.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Zelensky outcries to world from Kharkiv (VIDEO)

KHARKIV - Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a video plea calling on world leaders to attend a “peace summit” next month in Switzerland after a deadly Russian attack on a DIY hypermarket in Kharkiv on Saturday.

ATHENS - Nine demonstrators in Greece from the United Kingdom and European Union countries who backed Palestinians during Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in a hunt for Hamas terrorists are protesting their imminent deportation.

Amin Wahbi sure knows his Greek food and he’s taken that experience and a business drive to set up a mini-empire of Greek eateries in a California town, now including his relocated Anthony’s Mediterranean Cuisine in Redding.

NICOSIA - The failure of a development company to renew a letter of guarantee has brought a halt to a planned 1.

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers in Donald Trump's hush money trial are set to deliver closing arguments to the jury Tuesday, each side looking to score final points with the panel before it starts deliberating the fate of the first former American president to be charged with felony crimes.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.