Washington D.C. mayor to end vaccine mandate on Feb. 15

by Summer Lane

Washington D.C. is set to lift its vaccine mandate, which requires civilians to show proof of Covid vaccination to enter businesses, effective Feb. 15, according to a report from The Hill. Additionally, the indoor mask mandate for businesses will be lifted on March 1.

The announcement that Covid restrictions would be dialed back was made by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday. However, WJLA reported that masks will still be required in schools, daycare facilities, nursing homes, dorms, correctional facilities, healthcare settings, public transportation, and government buildings. WJLA also reported that businesses in D.C. that want to require masks for their customers or employees will be able to do so.

According to The Hill’s report, Covid cases are down 90 percent in the city, which supposedly prompted the easing of vaccine mandate restrictions in D.C. Strangely, while Bowser announced a date for lifting mask mandates on businesses, she has not done so in regard to schools, which will likely leave many parents scratching their head on the double standard between business regulations and the rules for children in the classroom.

Further, Mayor Bowser’s emergency vaccine mandate order will be extremely short-lived. The “VaxDC” mandate system, applying to anyone aged 12 or older, first went into effect on Jan. 15, NBC reported. The vaccine requirement also applied to restaurants, entertainment centers, businesses, gyms, meeting places, and auditoriums.

Now, just one month later, Bowser is dropping the controversial order and rolling back the tightened restrictions for D.C. residents.

Although Mayor Bowser is backing down on her stance for rigidly enforcing vaccine mandates, she is unwilling to provide clarity on why schoolchildren as well as those working at correctional facilities, nursing homes, healthcare settings and public transit will still be forced to wear masks.

Despite Bowser’s confusing approach to rolling back Covid restrictions, the elimination of the vaccine pass system in D.C. is a major win for freedom-loving Americans who believe in medical autonomy.  

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