News & Politics

DC Is Starting Walkup Vaccinations and Reopening Live Music Indoors

Beginning May 1, restrictions are loosening across the board.

DC officials announced today that the city’s vaccination program will switch to walkup vaccination sites starting May 1. These walkup centers will not replace the pharmacies, clinics, and health care providers that are administering vaccines via appointments. The walkup centers will be open to adults 18 and older (hours not yet announced). Children 16  and 17 years old should get vaccinated at Children’s National.

Here’s where the walkup sites will be:

  • Arena Stage
  • For Stanton Recreation Center
  • Kenilworth Recreation Center
  • Lamond Recreation Center
  • Langdon Park Community Center
  • Providence Health System
  • Rosedale Recreation Center
  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Entertainment and Sports Arena (May 1 only)
  • RISE Demonstration Center (After May 1)

May 1 will also introduce widespread relaxation of Covid restrictions in the city, officials announced, thanks to reduced citywide case numbers and high rates of vaccination. Should those trends continue, Mayor Bowser said additional changes could be introduced around July 4.

Here’s what’s changing in the city starting May 1:

Nonessential Retail Businesses

Capacity limit is raised from 25 percent to 50 percent or 250 people, whichever is lower.

Restaurants and Bars

The number of people who can sit together at a table is increased from 6 people to 10 people. Live music will be allowed outdoors for summer gardens, courtyard dining, and sidewalk cafes controlled by the restaurants. Customers sitting outside can purchase alcohol without purchasing food.


Multi-purpose facilities, concert venues, and theaters can open at 25 percent capacity up to 500 people. Attendees must remain seated. Movie theaters can operate at up to 25 percent capacity.

Ceremonies and Meetings

Weddings and special events are allowed indoors and outdoors at 25 percent capacity, with waivers required for attendance greater than 250. Regional business meetings and seated conventions are allowed indoors at 25 percent capacity, with waivers required for attendance greater than 250. Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.

Fitness and Pools

Indoor fitness classes can include up to 25 people. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50 percent capacity, with no more than 250 guests. Public and private pools can open with health and safety plans in place. Hotel pools can open to overnight guests. Outdoor splash pads can open to full capacity.

Places of Worship

Places of worship may admit up to 40 percent capacity. This capacity limit includes worshippers, and does not include clergy and staff. Masking and social distancing must remain in place.

Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.