DC Mayor Reinstates Mask Requirement, Requires Proof Of Vaccination To Enter Certain Spaces | Arent Renard

A link to the order can be found here. The requirement applies, regardless of vaccination status:

  • public, public chartered, private, parochial and independent schools;
  • nursery; assembly facilities;
  • health care facilities;
  • libraries;
  • public transport and carpooling vehicles;
  • restaurants and taverns when people are not actively eating or drinking;
  • sports and entertainment venues;
  • gymnasiums, recreation centers and other indoor sports facilities;
  • places of worship;
  • businesses with the exception of closed offices in which no one else can enter;
  • grocery stores and pharmacies;
  • big box stores; retail establishments; and
  • common areas of the hotel.

The College authorizes employers to take “appropriate employment action” against employees who endanger themselves or others by violating the College or its regulations. It also authorizes DC agencies to enforce the mask mandate by revoking, suspending or limiting licenses, permits, certificates, endorsements and other authorizations issued to those who do not comply. Violators can also face fines of up to $ 1,000.

That’s not all. Two days after issuing the indoor mask warrant, Mayor Bowser ordered that from January 15, 2022, the following establishments and facilities may not allow guests, visitors or patrons over the age of 12 to enter in their indoor premises without showing proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • restaurants, bars and nightclubs;
  • entertainment establishments;
  • exercise and leisure establishments; and
  • event and meeting establishments.

The decree exempts certain indoor installations:

  • places of worship;
  • grocery stores, farmers’ markets and food service establishments that provide charitable food services;
  • pharmacies, doctor’s offices, emergency care centers and hospitals;
  • big box stores and retail establishments where people tend to be on the move and not stand or sit near others for long periods of time;
  • private meeting places in residences and office buildings;
  • facilities relating to government regulation, licensing, administrative law hearings, legal proceedings, law enforcement, the provision of legal services and the Department of Motor Vehicles;
  • facilities related to essential human services, such as warming and cooling centers, day service facilities for the homeless, shelters for the homeless or victims of domestic violence; and
  • polling stations during elections;

However, the vaccination requirement applies if an exempt establishment is carrying out a non-exempt activity. For example, the requirement applies when a place of worship rents its indoor facility for non-religious purposes. Likewise, if a big box store is having a sit-down event, proof of vaccination is required to enter the area where people will be closely congregated for an extended period of time.

In addition to exempting certain indoor installations, the Decree exempts certain people from the obligation of vaccination:

  • persons entering a covered establishment for a quick and limited purpose, such as placing a take out order, picking up an order or making a delivery; and
  • people who are legally entitled to reasonable accommodation because of a health problem or sincere religious belief.

Under the order, covered establishments must display prominently at their entrance, informing the public of the vaccination entry requirement.

The vaccination order, like the mask warrant, contains robust enforcement provisions. It empowers businesses and other entities to exclude individuals and take appropriate employment action against their employees who endanger themselves or others by violating the Order. DC agencies can enforce the vaccination mandate by revoking, suspending, or limiting licenses, permits, certificates, endorsements and other authorizations issued to those who do not comply. And offenders face fines of up to $ 1,000.

The vaccination decree will remain in force until it is repealed.

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About Bernice Dyer

Bernice Dyer

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