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DC targets May 29 for reopening: Here's what it would look like

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the ReOpen DC Advisory Board issued new recommendations for businesses, schools and restaurant groups as the District looks to reopen.

WASHINGTON — D.C. is targeting May 29th to begin reopening, citing a decline in coronavirus case numbers, but the District has not yet committed to the date.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and her coronavirus task force said Thursday the community spread of the virus has declined for 11 days, which is near the 14-day metric needed to begin reopening. 

The current stay-at-home order for D.C. is in place through June 8. Mayor Bowser said a final decision on whether D.C. would move forward with reopening next week would come on Tuesday. 

Mayor Bowser and the ReOpen D.C. Advisory Group have laid out what the District would look like under a phased-in approach to reopening. They stressed that all of this could change and that a final decision on what each Stage of reopening looks like would also come Tuesday. 

"It's not an on and off switch, we will not be able to go back to life as we enjoyed in February," Bowser said. "But we are incrementally adding activities back in our lives, which we all miss and we are all eager to get back to."

Credit: ReOpen DC Advisory

Here's what that first Stage of the reopening plan is recommended to look like for the District:

Restaurants and bars

Under Bowser's recommended Stage 1 reopening, restaurants are still able to have takeout services as well as alcohol delivery. Nightclubs and bars are to stay closed until Stage 3, which depends on the success and social distancing of the first two stages.

  • Outdoor table service only with physical safeguards to provide distancing
  • Maximum table size of 6
  • Buffets, standing room bars prohibited
  • More flexibility for restaurants to change the type of license they hold within the food service category
  • Relaxed criteria for restaurants to expand outdoor seating on patios
  • Customers encouraged to leave name and time of arrival

Stage 2 of the reopening plan would allow restaurants to have up to 50% capacity with bar seating permitted as long as patrons are six feet apart. You still couldn't stand at the bar, and party sizes for tables would increase from 6 to 10.

Food trucks are allowed as long as customers are social distancing. Pre-orders are encouraged to minimize lines and gathering.

RELATED: Several Wharf fish and farmers' markets reopen with approved waivers, shoppers must wear masks


Grocery Stores + Farmers Markets

Grocery stores and farmers markets will continue to operate under social distancing guidelines in Stage 1 of the recommended reopening plan. Masks are still required and you still need to be six feet apart from others while shopping.

Curbside pickup and delivery options are still highly encouraged, and buffet and salad bars prohibited. Stage 2 of the reopening approach would slowly reintroduce the salad bar and hot food buffets.

Waivers for operating farmers' markets, like those at the Wharf, have been extended. The first stage of reopening would expand what markets can offer, including food prepared at the market rather than prepacked and customers able to choose their own product that 's not pre-bagged.

READ: A full breakdown of what the recommended reopening looks like for food services in DC:

Salons and Barbershops 

Barbers and hair salons are to reopen with social distancing in place and by appointment only. The ReOpen DC Advisory group recommended that a maximum of 5 people are allowed in for every 1,000 square feet of the business.

Masks are still required as well as physical distancing. Nail salons, massage parlors and spas are not recommended to reopen until Stage 2 of the reopening plan and would follow the same 5 people per 1,000 sq. foot guideline.

When could we see the next phases reopen?

Health officials are waiting to look for a continued 14-day downward trend in hospitalization rates and confirmed cases, and said they will monitor the success of Stage 1 before making plans to continued to the next steps.

Summer camps, museums and exhibits and nightclubs are to remain closed until those phases. Work from home and distance learning is still in place until Stage 2  begins.


RELATED: Mayor Bowser discusses recommendations for reopening the District

RELATED: Here are the options DC is considering for starting school next year

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