Soon You’ll Need Proof of Vaccination to Visit DC Restaurants

The new mandate goes into effect early next year.

DC restuarants
Photo by Jennifer Chase

While some DC restaurants have been requiring proof of vaccination for months, all restaurants in the District will soon be required to check their guests' vaccination status for indoor dining.

Starting January 15, at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to dine or drink indoors, and the policy will expand to require that guests are fully vaccinated on February 15, the city announced Wednesday. The new mandate comes just two days after the city reinstated its indoor mask mandate for bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues.

“If you are a resident who is not yet vaccinated and you would like to continue enjoying these activities, now is the time to get vaccinated,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference on Wednesday.

In addition to restaurants and bars, nightclubs, gyms, indoor event and meeting venues, and other entertainment facilities are also required to comply with the mandate. Some indoor venues like museums, grocery stores, and places of worship are exempt from the mandate.

The new mandate applies to anyone over the age of 12, but the vaccine requirement does not apply to employees of these establishments.

The move pushes DC in line with cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston that implemented the requirement earlier this year.

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Liz Provencher is an associate editor at Thrillist.