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Travel Status Update

Coronavirus information and FAQs about Washington, DC

Find the latest status of museums, attractions and events in and around Washington, DC during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Travel Status

Washington, DC’s Reopening Plan

  • On Friday, May 21, restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits and types of activities will be lifted for most activities, including at meetings and seated conventions, weddings and special events, museums, restaurants and retail. 

  • Starting Friday, June 11, capacity restrictions will be lifted at bars, nightclubs, and large sports and entertainment venues. 

  • From May 21-June 11, bars and nightclubs may operate at 50% capacity, and waivers are necessary at large sports and entertainment venues. 

  • Residents and visitors are required to follow the CDC’s mask guidance. Read DC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people

  • Through May 20, DC will remain in Phase 2 of reopening, with guidance below.

Phase Two Reopening Guidance - Through May 20

Washington, DC is currently in Phase Two of reopening

  • Masks are required on public transportation. Unvaccinated people are required to wear a mask when leaving their residence and likely to come within six feet of others.

  • Regional business meetings and conventions may take place indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity, with city waivers required for more than 250 people. Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.

  • Outdoor dining and carry out/delivery may continue. Restaurants can sell alcohol until midnight and indoor dining capacity remains at 25 percent (or up to 250 people). 10 people may sit at a table. Live music will be allowed outdoors, controlled by the restaurants. If customers are sitting outside, alcohol sales are allowed without purchasing food.

  • Museums, galleries and exhibits will be able to operate indoors and outdoors at 50% capacity.

  • Non-essential retail indoors and outdoors will be able to operate at 50% capacity (250 people max).

  • Seated live entertainment (i.e. theater) will be allowed at 25% capacity (up to 500 people).

  • Sports: field permits will be issued for spring seasons, and professional sports may operate pursuant to a waiver. Anticipated capacity is for 10,000 fans at Nationals Park; 5,000 at Audi Field; 2,100 at Capital One Arena and 450 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

  • Outdoor races will be allowed at 50% capacity (i.e. 5Ks).

  • Weddings and special events will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity (with a waiver for attendance greater than 250). Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced. 

  • School graduations and award ceremonies will be allowed indoors and outdoors with capacity limits.

  • Live music will be allowed near outdoor restaurant seating.

  • Libraries will be able to operate at 50% capacity.

  • Recreation centers will be able to operate indoors at 50% capacity.

  • Movie theaters will be able to operate at 25% capacity.

  • Indoor and outdoor public pools will be allowed to open at 50% capacity.

  • Outdoor splash pads will be allowed to open at full capacity.

DC Travel Requirements

As of May 1, 2021, fully vaccinated DC residents and visitors may:

  • Travel domestically without testing for COVID-19 unless required by the destination

  • Resume activities (in DC) after domestic travel without quarantining  

  • Travel internationally from DC without getting tested or quarantining after unless required by the destination; but must show a negative test before boarding a flight back to the U.S. and get tested 3-5 days after returning. 

  • To know: fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days after the second dose of a 2-dose series, or after one dose of a single-dose vaccine

Unvaccinated Travelers

  • You don’t need a COVID-19 test if:

    • Traveling from Maryland and Virginia or a low-risk area (as of May 2, low-risk areas are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Guam, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Northern Mariana Islands or Virgin Islands).

    • You’re in DC less than 24 hours.

  • A COVID-19 test is required if:

    • Traveling from a high-risk area or visiting for more than a day (must test negative within 72 hours of visiting)

    • If you’re in DC for more than 3 days, limit activities and take a second test in DC 3-5 days after your arrival.

  • To know: 

    • There are testing/quarantine exceptions if you’re on essential travel or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days AND do not have any symptoms.

    • Private institutions and local government officials may ask for proof of a negative test, so visitors should travel with their vaccination card.


Should I travel to Washington, DC?

As of May 21, DC is fully reopen for the majority of activities and we look forward to welcoming you this summer and beyond. The health and safety of visitors to Washington, DC remains a top priority. Destination DC recommends travelers follow the latest information from the CDC, noting its protective tips and higher risks for unvaccinated individuals and those with preexisting health conditions.

How has the District of Columbia government taken steps to address coronavirus?

Stay current on the latest updates from the DC government and Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia. DC Health and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency are leading the pandemic response. If travelers exhibit symptoms and are concerned that they might have coronavirus while in Washington, DC, please call DC Health’s hotline at 844-493-2652 and find information about testing in DC.

What is Destination DC doing to prepare visitors and the hospitality community for coronavirus?

Destination DC is working daily in coordination with industry partners including the U.S. Travel Association, Events DC, the Hotel Association of Washington, DC, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and local officials in line with guidance from the CDC to communicate current information and best practices.

Have any museums, monuments, attractions or venues closed or have major festivals and events been canceled?

Please find status updates on what's open in and around Washington, DC. We urge visitors to confirm the status of upcoming events and major attractions before making plans to visit.

How are DC-area restaurants impacted?

Starting May 21, there are no restrictions or capacity limits at restaurants. Diners are encouraged to wear face coverings when not eating and to avoid going out if feeling sick. Check with individual restaurants to ensure they have outdoor or available indoor dining space before going out to eat. Takeout and delivery service remains an option.

The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) provides up to date information on DC’s dining scene. Read more from RAMW.

How is Metro affected and how is it ensuring safety for its riders?

Metro is expanding late-night service and restoring more routes to support the DC region’s reopening and recovery. Face masks are required. View Metro’s updates. Find additional local transportation information at goDCgo.

What are airports doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic?

Reagan National and Dulles International airports remain in close coordination with federal partners at the CDC, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, TSA and state and local health departments and emergency management agencies in preparedness activities. Face coverings are required at Reagan National and Dulles International airports. Read more from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

What are hotels doing to ensure guest safety?

Regional hotels are implementing proactive strategies, following CDC guidelines and monitoring the information from local government agencies as they manage this issue with the wellbeing of hotel guests being of paramount concern. Find a list of hotels that are currently open.

What is the status of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center?

Announced April 5, the vaccine clinic at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will expand through a partnership with Safeway. Appointments must be booked through and the call center. The convention center also published its Back to Business Guide, a 40-page document detailing new health and safety technologies and guidelines for meeting in person. Read more Events DC news updates.

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