D.C. mayor eyes lifting capacity limits for events, businesses

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday she expects to ease capacity limits for events and businesses on May 1, as long as coronavirus health metrics remain at a safe level.

“We know that we can expect to see some increases in cases this month, but with vaccination and continued safeguards, we expect that later into the spring that those cases will come down,” the mayor said during a press conference.

Weddings, special events, regional business meetings and seated conventions will be able to operate at 25% capacity on May 1, she said. A city-issued waiver, however, will be required for events with more than 250 people.

Indoor and outdoor public pools will be able to reopen at 50% capacity, and outdoor splash pads can operate without a capacity limit. Outdoor sports races can also resume at 50% capacity.

Seated live entertainment venues will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity, with a maximum capacity of 500 people. Live music will also be permitted “near” outdoor restaurant seating. 

Movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. Additionally, indoor recreation centers and libraries will be able to operate at 50% capacity.

Museums, galleries, exhibits, and nonessential retail businesses will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity both indoors and outdoors.

School graduation and award ceremonies will also be permitted, and the mayor said further guidance on these activities will be provided next week.

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