Washington, DC will reinstate an indoor mask mandate beginning December 21 until the morning of January 31, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Monday.
The mayor added that all employees, contractors and grantees of the District of Columbia government must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must have a booster shot. There will be no test-out option, the mayor said. There was no deadline specified for the vaccination guidance.
Bowser announced she would declare a state of emergency and urged Washingtonians to get vaccinations and booster shots, and limit their social activities over the holidays.
Bowser lifted the mask mandate in late November, a move that drew some public criticism that she was moving ahead of the science and easing restrictions at a time when infection numbers still listed the region as a zone of substantial transmission. A majority of the D.C. Council issued a rare public letter asking her to reconsider the decision, The AP reported.