Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced Monday that the city will end its requirement for people entering businesses to show proof of vaccination starting this week and will lift its mask mandate for businesses starting on March 1.
Bowser cited a sharp decline in cases in the omicron wave as justification for the loosening of restrictions.
The vaccination requirement for people entering businesses like restaurants will end starting Tuesday. That requirement had drawn resistance from some congressional Republicans, who rallied behind a neighborhood bar, The Big Board, that defied the mandate.
Masks will still be required in schools, an area of strong controversy, and some situations like public transit, Bowser said, while the broader mandate will be lifted next month.
Bowser told reporters the city had seen a “precipitous drop” in case levels, justifying the loosening.
Cases are down 90 percent and hospitalizations are down 95 percent since the peak of the omicron wave, the city said.