DC Indoor Dining Restrictions Remain as Food Service Workers Become Eligible for Vaccines

Also, DC restaurants and bars can now serve alcohol until midnight.

Workers at Donburi prepare rice bowls amid the coronavirus crisis. Photograph by Evy Mages

DC food service workers are eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccines beginning today, and delivery drivers and couriers will follow the week of March 29. Meanwhile, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in a press conference Monday morning that restaurants and bars will be able to serve alcohol until midnight (extended from 10 PM) beginning March 22. One thing that won’t change, however, is the 25 percent indoor dining capacity limit. Bowser says those restrictions, as well as the ability of food businesses to play live music, will be revisited in April.

“We have not crushed the virus in this city or this nation and we have to be mindful of that,” Bowser said. “We can’t go back to normal because this virus is still circulating in our city, people are still getting sick and going to the hospital, and people are still dying.” 

DC now has the most restrictive indoor dining rules in the region. The Montgomery County Council voted on Friday to expand indoor dining from 25 to 50 percent beginning March 26 and lift its curfew on alcohol service. Prince George’s County restaurants are also allowed to operate half-full dining rooms as of last week. Virginia restaurants have been at half-capacity all winter.

Bowser also loosened up other rules in DC. For example, some live entertainment will begin resuming for those who have a waiver approved. Also, grocery stores are now allowed to operate buffets—but only if staff serves the food.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.