WASHINGTON — Starting Monday D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is ordering nonessential visitors from ‘high-risk’ states to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The list of the states deemed ‘high-risk’ was on Monday and will be updated every two weeks.
The quarantine order includes visitors who previously arrived in the District and intend on staying. If they have been here less than two weeks and their state is on the coronavirus hot spot list, they will need to begin self-quarantining.
“Reducing travel and abiding by this self-quarantine requirement will help to prevent a projected surge on our hospital capacity in the coming weeks,” the mayor’s order states.
During the time people are self-quarantining, the mayor’s order requires travelers must stay in their home or hotel room and only leave for essential medical appointments or essential goods when delivery of food or other essential goods isn’t feasible.
“There’s nobody standing at the hotel door telling people if they can come or go but certainly they will be required to make all of their travelers aware of the guidelines of the local jurisdiction,” Bowser said in a Friday press conference.
The order also states guests are not allowed.
“What's the sense of having a hotel open,” Detroit visitor Justin Neil asked. “I mean, the hotel is for visitors. If you can't go out anywhere, you can't go to a restaurant, you can't support local business, then why would I come?”
For one family, who already has visitors in town from South Carolina, they said they knew order is going to change their plans.
“I guess we’ll hang out at home and in Maryland,” Maya Holloman said.
For one local woman who had plans in place for visitors to come later this summer, she said the new order won’t throw her plans off but can see why it would for others.
“We're still going to hang out, probably outside social distancing, so that probably won't change too many of my plans but I can imagine that it's going to be throwing a wrench into some plans, especially if you have family coming from out of town,” Gerda Gatling said.
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When it comes to enforcing the quarantine order, the mayor’s order said businesses may people to confirm their compliance.
“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,” says the order.
“It would be selfish to be in a big crowd when you know you're coming from a 'hotbed' area,” Gatling said. “I just don't know how realistic that is especially for the D.C. economy that people are going to really self-quarantine. I feel like if that's the case, they probably honestly shouldn't be visiting.”