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The trend towards reopening is rapidly picking up steam for the nightlife industry. 

Washington, D.C. is the latest major U.S. city to loosen pandemic restrictions on nightlife and entertainment venues. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in particular has gone even further, effectively putting a date on when capacity related restrictions could be lifted altogether. 

On May 21st, entertainment venues—including bars and nightclubs—will be allowed to operate at 50% scale, up from the current limit of 25% which was instated earlier this year. The new limits for nightlife venues align with Bowser's recent directive for gyms, libraries, and retail locations, which were given the go-ahead to increase capacity on May 1st. 


Famed Washington, D.C. music venue Echostage.

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The Washington Blade reports Bowser also stated that there is a line of sight to the end of capacity restrictions altogether. That date is June 11th, which would also see the imposed closing time of midnight effectively lifted for bars and clubs. Many D.C. venues historically have operated with a 2AM weekday and 3AM weekend license.

“We’re very pleased that over the last several days, we have seen our case spread, our community spread numbers, venture out of the red into the yellow and fast approaching the green,” Bowser said in a press conference. “You might remember that our daily case rate peaked in January at 45.9. And today you can see it’s down to 6.6.”

Once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, New York also recently moved to lift capacity restrictions for its nightlife sector, allowing for scalability up to 33%.

In what seems like a reactive move, famed Washington, D.C. music venue Echostage announced yesterday that it will be returning on June 11th.


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