D.C. Mayor exempts lawmakers, govt employees from new mask order if “on duty”

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has a new mask order for DC but made a few notable exceptions for it.

One of them is for people eating, drinking and legally smoking.

Another is for those under 2.

However, the one that is raising one eyebrows is an apparent exemption for everyone working for the federal government “while they are on duty.”

From the order:


Except as specified in Section IV of this Order:

1. Persons must wear a mask in the common areas of apartments, condominiums and cooperatives.

2. Businesses, office buildings, and other establishments open to members of the public shall post signage on their exterior doors stating that a person may not enter unless the person is wearing a mask. In addition, the business, office building, or other establishment shall exclude or attempt to eject persons who are not wearing masks or who remove their required masks.

3. Employers shall provide masks to their employees.


Except as specified in Section IV of this Order:

1. Persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time; and

2. Persons who are operating or a passenger in a taxi or a vehicle that is part of a Transportation Network Company, or who are a passenger on or operator of any form of public transit in the District, including a bus, subway, streetcar, shuttle bus or van, or school bus, must wear a mask at all such times.


1. Wearing a mask is not required when:

a. A person is a resident or guest in a private home or apartment;
b. A person is actually eating, drinking, or legally smoking;
c. A person is engaged in vigorous outdoor exercise and is maintaining social distance of at least six (6) feet from each other person;
d. A person is in the water at a swimming pool;
e. A person is in an enclosed office that no one else is permitted to enter;
f. A person is aged two (2) years old or younger;
g. A person is unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability, or is physically unable to remove a mask;
h. A person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker;
i. A deaf or hard of hearing person needs to read the lips of a speaker;
j. The equipment required for a job precludes the wearing of a mask and the person is wearing that equipment, or when wearing a mask would endanger public safety;
k. A person has been lawfully asked to remove the mask for facial recognition purposes.

2. The enforcement provisions of this Order shall not be applied to persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty; and shall not apply to any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.