The capital of the U.S. is planning to remove the blanket indoor mask mandate next week, according to an announcement made by the mayor of Washington, D.C.
Masks are still going to be required on Washington, D.C. public transportation, including the metro and buses, in airports and in ride share vehicles like Uber and Lyft, according to the mayor's office. Private businesses that wish to still require masks can continue to do so.
The mandate will also remain in effect in schools, childcare facilities and libraries, as well as congregate settings such as homeless shelters, dorms and nursing homes. Masks will continue to be required at city facilities where employees interact with the public in-person, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles.
"Instead of following a blanket mandate, residents, visitors and workers will be advised to follow risk-based guidance from D.C. Health that accounts for current health metrics and a person's vaccination status," the office said in a statement.
"Beginning Monday, Nov. 22, D.C. will lift the current indoor mask mandate," Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Twitter.
Private businesses can continue to make their own rules, she said, adding that masks would also still be mandatory in ride share vehicles, libraries, nursing homes, prisons and some city government offices.
Washington had put the mask mandate in place in late July, for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, amid a surge in infections tied to the rise of the Delta variant.
The city has implemented relatively strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as compared with other places in the United States.
However, the new guidance appears to be at odds with the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC still considers Washington to be an area of "substantial" COVID-19 community transmission and suggests that everyone wear masks in "public, indoor settings."
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