Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Washington, DC, US, to impose restrictions on travelers entering from areas highly affected by COVID-19, starting July 27.

  • Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 07:30 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 07 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): District of Columbia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely, travel restrictions

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued orders to impose restrictions on travelers entering the District from certain US states starting July 27, while maintaining other business restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Travelers entering Washington, DC, for nonessential activities from states with a seven-day average of 10 daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents must self-quarantine for 14 days. The list of states will be published July 27, and it will be reviewed every 14 days. Maryland and Virginia will be exempted.

Otherwise, Washington, DC, maintains certain restrictions in place, as part of Phase 2 of the city's recovery plan. Under the current guidelines, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, and the following businesses can operate:


  • Restaurants may offer indoor dining services at 50-percent capacity, and continue offering outdoor dining.


  • Gyms and fitness centers may reopen, limited to 5 people per 93 square meters (1,000 square feet).


  • Libraries, museums, and exhibits can reopen.


  • Playgrounds can reopen.


  • Places of worship may open at 50-percent capacity, but no more than 100 people.


  • Personal care services may operate by appointment only.


  • Retail stores may reopen at 50-percent capacity.


Authorities continue to urge residents to stay at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) away from persons who do not reside in their household. Authorities have also ordered residents over the age of three to wear facemasks whenever they are in public and may come close to other people.

Essential businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and banks, as well as those in the energy, telecommunications, agriculture, transport, construction, media, and security industries, continue to operate and have not been subject to mandatory closures. Essential government services continue to be provided. All businesses must implement enhanced sanitation procedures and social distancing measures, among other special measures aimed at preventing any upswing in COVID-19 activity. All businesses are encouraged to allow employers to work from home whenever possible.

Business disruptions are likely to continue. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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