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ABRA Guidance on Reopening DC Modifications Effective May 21

May 20, 2021

Effective at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021, many substantive restrictions and requirements imposed by previous Mayor’s Orders and ABC Board rulemakings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted. Additionally, select activities such as pub crawls and extended holiday hours, that were temporarily suspended due to the public health emergency may resume.

Full modifications are detailed in Mayor’s Order 2020-069, related ABC Board emergency rulemakings, and on ABRA’s website.

Additionally, ABRA will host a virtual public information session focused on the loosening restrictions on Friday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m. Advance registration is required.

Key modifications taking effect at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21 include the following:

  • Alcohol licensed restaurants, taverns, hotels, private clubs, and common carriers; manufacturers holding an on-site sales and consumption permit; and festival and temporary license holders may operate at up to 100 percent capacity indoors and outdoors. Nightclubs and multipurpose facilities are permitted to operate at 50 percent capacity—and increase capacity up to 100 percent starting at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.
  • Patrons may stand to order or consume food or beverages, socialize, and to participate in recreational activities such as dancing, darts, pools, axe throwing, bowling, and games of skill.
  • Patrons may sit and be served at bars being utilized by bartenders and other waitstaff.
  • Buffets, self-service stations, and “BYOB” may be offered.
  • Live entertainment is permitted without physical distancing or face covering or mask requirements. Live entertainment is allowed between 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily on registered streateries but may not be heard inside homes located in residential zones. Settlement Agreements apply and an Entertainment Endorsement is required.
  • Establishments may require patrons wear masks when entering the establishment unless the patron is under the age of two (2) years old or has a medical or mental health condition or a disability that prevents the patron from wearing a mask or face covering.
  • Patrons may order alcohol for on-premises consumption without being required to purchase a prepared food item.
  • Alcohol carry-out and delivery hours are restored to the originally permitted 6:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. daily—an increase of one (1) hour.
  • On-premises alcohol hours for sale, service, and consumption revert to the hours permitted on the establishment’s alcohol license.

Provisions that will remain in place include:

  • Establishments must implement a reservation system for contact tracing purposes. Contact information from at least one person per party must be collected and maintained for at least 30-days.
  • License holders may utilize up to two (2) additional locations for carry-out and delivery. Advance registration required.
  • Alcohol purchased for carry-out and delivery must be accompanied by at least one (1) prepared food item. This is a permanent statutory requirement.

Additionally, ABRA will now:

Questions about modifications may be directed to ABRA’s Licensing Division at Inquiries are responded to Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.