DC to require proof of vaccination for restaurants, bars, other indoor venues

D.C. will soon require proof of vaccination for many indoor venues, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday. 

This includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs, indoor cultural and entertainment facilities, indoor exercise and recreational establishments and indoor event and meeting establishments. 

Bowser said exceptions will be carved out for instances when a person is only briefly entering an establishment, meaning to use a restroom or pick up an order. 


Enforcement of the vaccination requirements will begin January 15, 2022. 


Accepted proof of vaccination includes: 

  • CDC issued vaccination card original or photocopy or photo
  • Immunication record print out from the patient portal of their vaccine/healthcare provider
  • A COVID-19 Verification App such as VaxYes or CLEAR

The mandate will take effect in-full by February 15. 


All District residents 5 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

President and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington released this statement on the mandate:

"Local restaurant operators have so much to navigate and little capacity right now, but everyone expected that we would see a winter surge with Covid. Mandates are never what we hope for, but as an industry we are interested in measures that help avoid shutdowns or reduced capacity requirements again. We urge the dining public to be kind and cooperative if they do want to dine indoors, and if not there are so many options with takeout packages, cocktails to go, and heated outdoor dining that so many restaurants invested heavily in last year to create options for people."