DC brings back indoor mask mandate starting Saturday

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that masks will once again be required indoors in the city beginning Saturday, regardless of coronavirus vaccination status.

The move, which applies to anyone over the age of 2, comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week updated its mask guidance to recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public places in areas with high COVID-19 transmission.

D.C. currently falls under that guidance, with the CDC classifying it as having substantial transmission.

“Things have changed throughout the course of [the pandemic], and we have to adapt, too,” Bowser said at a news conference.

Exception: There is an exception for people who are actively eating at a restaurant, Bowser said, and there are no social distancing requirements that go along with the mask order.

The CDC’s move this week was based on new data showing that vaccinated people could in some instances still transmit the virus on to others, even if they themselves are overwhelmingly protected against severe illness.