DC mayor Bowser lifts mask mandate then changes her mind 24-hrs later; bans dancing at weddings

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser angered many residents when she lifted her mask mandate for those who have been vaccinated and then confusingly reinstated it less than 24 hours later. She also banned dancing at wedding receptions.

Bowser nixed the mask mandate Friday night, permitting those who had been fully vaccinated to not wear a mask when interacting with others who are vaccinated indoors. The relaxation of the mandate even allowed people who are vaccinated to comingle with those who are not vaccinated. Residents would also be able to go maskless outside except at crowded events.

The mayor defined “fully vaccinated” as being anyone who was two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks following the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

On Saturday, the mayor backtracked. The order was updated, completely rescinding the part where vaccinated individuals did not have to wear a mask indoors anymore. Currently, everyone now must wear a mask indoors whether they have been vaccinated or not.

(Video Credit: WUSA9)

The new mandate also seemingly required businesses to post a sign on their doors warning people that they would not be allowed access unless they prove they are fully vaccinated or wearing a mask. Businesses would be permitted to ask people to show their vaccine cards/passports in order to enter the premises.

“I think that the law is pretty clear that folks can ask about vaccination,” Bowser informed reporters when asked about vaccine verification. “If they are a public-serving facility, however, then they have to be open to the public. The mask mandate applies to private businesses.”

By Saturday evening, the order confusingly no longer stated that businesses, offices, and other public establishments were required to post signs telling people they could not enter unless they’re wearing masks or are fully vaccinated, according to The Washington Post. It also no longer referred to businesses ejecting people who weren’t wearing masks but they can still ask for vaccine verification.

“We are very confused as to what we can do and what we can’t do,” Mark Bucher, co-founder of Medium Rare, stated. “That can be a case of the right hand not talking to the left hand, but it isn’t easy for us to distill the tea leaves.”

The wedding order has caused outrage in D.C. and has prompted many weddings to move to less restrictive states. According to Fox5 D.C., wedding attendees are no longer allowed to dance or even stand at wedding receptions or cocktail hours.

Weddings are permitted at 25 percent of the chosen venue’s capacity. The couple must obtain a waiver if more than 250 people are attending the nuptials starting on May 1. Guests are now required to remain seated and socially distanced during the entire event.

Wedding planners in the area were allegedly caught off guard by the announcement.

Virginia is increasing their allowed attendees to 100 inside and 250 outside starting on May 15. Maryland currently allows venues to operate at 50 percent capacity both indoors and outdoors. Dancing and standing are not banned in either state.

Bowser’s spokeswoman claims that the order is meant to act as a safety precaution because during a wedding, as people dance or stand, they behave differently by touching each other and getting too close to one another.


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