D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that every resident age 16 or older will become eligible for the coronavirus vaccine on May 1. At least 14.2% of the city’s more than 700,000 residents already are either partially or fully vaccinated, the mayor said during a press conference.
The news comes less than a week after President Biden directed all state leaders to ensure the country’s more than 255 million adults become eligible by May 1.
Miss Bowser also discussed a number of changes to pandemic-related restrictions starting next week, including loosened capacity limits for gatherings and businesses.
Beginning next Monday, the capacity limit for outdoor gatherings will increase to 50 people, but the indoor limit will remain at 10 people.
Indoor gyms can allow 25% capacity or up to 250 people, whichever is lesser. Fitness classes can allow up to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
Museums, galleries and exhibits can host guided tours. Movie theatres can reopen with a limit of 25 people or 25% maximum capacity, whichever is lesser.
Alcohol can now be sold until midnight, but indoor dining is still capped at 250 people or 25% maximum capacity.
Select high school sports can resume and professional sports can allow fans in stadiums if they receive a city-approved waiver.
The mayor also said the city’s public health emergency has been extended through May 20. She plans to hold another press conference regarding reopening phases on April 5.
Miss Bowser‘s announcements come days after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan lifted several virus restrictions including capacity limits at many businesses. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, however, has not made any restriction changes since last month.