Washington, D.C., is lifting its indoor mask mandate effective Nov. 22, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Tuesday.
In making the announcement, the mayor noted that residents, visitors and businesses would be advised to follow risk-based guidance from DC Health going forward.
“Now, I want to be very clear, this does not mean that everyone needs to stop wearing their mask, but it does mean that we’re shifting the government’s response to providing you this risk-based information and recommending layering strategies as the best way to protect yourself and the community,” Muriel said in a statement.
That means retail stores, restaurants and office buildings will no longer require people to wear masks inside.
Despite the lifted mask mandate, face coverings are still required indoors, regardless of vaccination status, in certain circumstances, including on public transportation such as buses and trains, inside metro stations, in airports, and while in ride-share vehicles.
Additionally, masks remain obligatory inside schools, child care facilities and libraries; in D.C. government facilities where there is direct interaction between employees and the public; and any private business that chooses to uphold a mask requirement.
In Northern Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health still recommends that everyone age 2 and up should wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and private businesses can decide on whether a mask is required or not.
In Maryland, Montgomery County announced today it would reinstate its indoor mask mandate this Saturday after recording seven consecutive days of “substantial” COVID-19 transmission.
Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.