Critical Alert

Officials in Washington, DC, US, update COVID-19-related traveler self-quarantine list Oct. 5. Other restrictions remain in force.

Alert Begins 05 Oct 2020 03:22 PM UTC
Alert Expires 19 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC


  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): District of Columbia
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions


Authorities in Washington, DC, issued an update Oct. 5 to the list of states and territories from which travelers are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival, as part of ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities removed Arizona from the list, and added New Mexico.

As of Oct. 5, the 30 states affected by the measure are as follows:


  • Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

The directive is generally in effect for travelers entering Washington, DC, following nonessential travel from states with a seven-day average of 10 daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. Maryland and Virginia are exempt. The list will be updated Oct. 19.

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


  • Restaurants may offer indoor dining services at 50-percent capacity and continue offering outdoor dining.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may reopen, limited to five 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 with 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 protective facemasks whenever they are in public and may come close to others.

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 employees 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.


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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