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Mayor’s Order 2020-081: Requirement to Self-Quarantine After Non-Essential Travel During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency


Mayor’s Order 2020-081

July 24, 2020

SUBJECT: Requirement to Self-Quarantine After Non-Essential Travel During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

ORIGINATING AGENCY: Office of the Mayor

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the District of Columbia pursuant to section 422 of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973, Pub. L. 93-198, 87 Stat. 790, D.C. Official Code § 1-204.22 (2016 Repl.); pursuant to the Coronavirus Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, effective May 19, 2020, D.C. Act 23-328, and any substantially similar subsequent emergency or temporary legislation; section 5 of the District of Columbia Public Emergency Act of 1980, effective March 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-149, D.C. Official Code § 7-2304 (2018 Repl.); section 5a of the District of Columbia Public Emergency Act of 1980, effective October 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, D.C. Official Code § 7-2304.01 (2018 Repl.); section 1 of An Act To Authorize the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to make regulations to prevent and control the spread of communicable and preventable diseases (“Communicable and Preventable Diseases Act”), approved August 11, 1939, 53 Stat. 1408, D.C. Official Code §§ 7-131 et seq. (2012 Repl.); and in accordance with Mayor’s Order 2020-045, dated March 11, 2020; Mayor’s Order 2020-046, dated March 11, 2020; Mayor’s Order 2020-050, dated March 20, 2020; Mayor’s Order 2020-063, dated April 15, 2020; Mayor’s Order 2020-066, May 13, 2020; Mayor’s Order 2020-067, dated May 27, 2020; and Mayor’s Order 2020-079, dated July 22, 2020, it is hereby ORDERED that:


1. This Order incorporates the findings of prior Mayor’s Orders relating to COVID-19.

2. Community transmission of COVID-19 remains throughout the District. Over 11,571 District residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and tragically, 581 District residents have lost their lives already due to COVID-19. After a promising period of decline, new daily cases exceeded one hundred (100) on July 22, 2020. Further, transmission is widespread in a majority of states around the country, as well as some countries internationally. Transmission is facilitated by persons who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.

3. Travelers who adhere to a fourteen (14) day quarantine when entering the District from high-risk areas will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the District and protect the health, safety, and welfare of District residents, and will help return us to a downward trajectory of new cases. Reducing travel and abiding by this self-quarantine requirement will help to prevent a projected surge on our hospital capacity in the coming weeks.

4. By contrast, tourism to and from high-risk areas without self-quarantining endangers District residents, will contribute to the District’s new case count, and may burden local hospitals.

5. District residents are encouraged to take “staycations,” to stay local, or only travel to places with low COVID-19 case counts, and to maintain physical distance from non-household members at all times.

6. This Order requires that persons self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days after traveling for non-essential purposes from high-risk areas to the District.


1. All residents and persons traveling to or from “high-risk areas” within the prior fourteen (14) days for non-essential travel must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days following their return or arrival to the District.

2. Persons who are self-quarantining after non-essential travel must:

a. Stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods when the delivery of food or other essential goods to their residence or hotel is not feasible;

b. Not invite or allow guests, other than caregivers, into their quarantined residence or hotel room; and

c. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek appropriate medical advice or testing if COVID-19 symptoms arise.

3. Persons who are traveling through a “high-risk area,” such as through an airport or by vehicle, shall not be subject to this quarantine requirement.


Persons returning to the District after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to do the following:

1. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and

2. Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.


1. For the purposes of this Order, “high-risk areas” are locations where the seven (7)-day moving average daily new COVID-19 case rate is ten (10) or more per one hundred thousand (100,000) persons. These locations will be identified by the Department of Health beginning on July 27, 2020 and will be posted and updated every two (2) weeks on Maryland and Virginia are exempt.

2. For the purposes of this Order, “essential travel” is defined by Mayor’s Order 2020-054, dated March 30, 2020 and subsequent interpretative guidance, and in addition, includes travel to or through the District for any reason that lasts less than twenty-four (24) hours.


This Order supersedes any prior Mayor’s Order or guidance issued during the COVID-19 public health emergency to the extent of any inconsistency.


1. Businesses and other employers, universities, apartments, condominiums, and cooperatives may require employees, students, clients, customers, guests, visitors, or other persons to affirm compliance with this Order before allowing entry or providing services.

2. This District of Columbia reserves the right to exercise provisions of the Communicable and Preventable Diseases Act, approved August 11, 1939, 53 Stat. 1408, D.C. Official Code §§ 7-131 et seq., if warranted.


This Order shall be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 27, 2020, and shall continue to be in effect through October 9, 2020, or until the date to which the state of emergency is extended, whichever is later.