News & Politics

DC Bans Tennis and Golf Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's new order may also affect farmers' markets.

The Dupont Circle farmers' market. Photo by Evy Mages
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a new order that, among other things, amends the city’s original stay-at-home order to remove tennis and golf as permissible recreational activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

The new order also requires managers of farmers’ markets to submit to the city a social-distancing plan, which must be approved before the market can operate.

The new order also makes clear that community gardens can remain open to the public.

The full press release is below. You can read the new order here.

(Washington, DC) – Today, to protect the District’s food supply chain and the District’s frontline food workers during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-058.

The Order states that no farmers’ market may operate unless issued a waiver. To obtain a waiver, a market manager must submit a plan to the District government at to outline how they will operate and enforce social distancing protocols, and that plan must be approved.

The Order’s safety and social distance protocols apply to “Retail Food Sellers,” which include grocery stores, supermarkets, food halls, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of food.

The Order also includes several amendments to previous Orders, including removing tennis and golf as allowable recreational activities and clarifying that community gardens are open to the public.

For more information on the District’s response, visit

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.