Mayor Orders Masks On Outside of Homes
Expect to see more masks on at the District Wharf whether you are walking around one of the piers or visiting a shop, bar, or restaurant, it’s now the law. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this week that anyone outside of their homes must wear a mask or face a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. The order, which will be in effect until at least October 9, 2020, requires masks be worn by persons leaving their residences when “they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time.”
Citing recent data, the Mayor’s announcement says that community transmission of COVID-19 remains high throughout the District and that “over 11,427 District residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and tragically 580 District residents have lost their lives already due to COVID-19.”
The mayor’s order requires a mask to be worn by drivers and passengers in taxis, ride sharing services and passengers or operators of any form of public transit in the District, including a bus, subway, streetcar, shuttle bus or van, or school bus, must wear a mask at all such times.
The order also applies to many indoor situations including the common areas of apartments, condominiums and cooperatives. In addition, masks must be worn in office buildings and other establishments. Businesses open to the public must post signage on their exterior doors stating that a “person may not enter unless the person is wearing a mask.”
The order gives businesses the authority to exclude or attempt to eject those who do not wear a mask or who remove their required masks. The order also requires that employers provide masks to their employees.
There are some exceptions to the order. Masks are not required under certain circumstances including when someone is a resident or guest in a private home or apartment (or boat!). Masks don’t need to be worn when someone is eating, drinking, or legally smoking; during vigorous outdoor exercise and maintaining social distance of at least six (6) feet from others; while in the water at a swimming pool; in an enclosed office that no one else is permitted to enter; for those aged two (2) years old or younger; if a person is unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability, or is physically unable to remove a mask.
The District Wharf management team says it is “taking extra precautions to keep our community healthy and safe. We have significantly increased our cleaning and sanitation protocols throughout our public restrooms, parks and open spaces, and parking garage to ensure they remain operational for all.”
The Wharf has posted on its social media outlets guidelines for visitors that include:
- Maintain six feet of physical distancing
- Wear a mask in common areas
- Wash your hands frequently
- Be courteous to others