The year 2021 has been full of coronavirus restrictions, and for good reason. There was a significant spike in cases in the United States last winter and many hospitals were overcrowded with critically ill patients. However, the country is widely vaccinated (45.8% of the global population has received at least one dose, 34.4% both) and locally, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have seen about 50% of the population receive at least one dose.
Since the United States is vaccinated at a higher rate than almost any country in the world, with Israel and the Seychelles being notable exceptions, cases of the coronavirus have declined dramatically. And that means a return to a new post-pandemic normal.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Monday that most capacity restrictions and business closures will be lifted on May 21. This means that stores can have more people inside. And for office workers, that means they can go inside as if it was February 2020.
However, places like bars, nightclubs and major sports venues will still be subject to their current restrictions on May 21. Bowser also announced that the restrictions on these locations will be lifted on June 11.
This means Washington Mystics games can have crowds at full capacity at the Entertainment and Sports Arena starting Thursday, June 17, when they host the Atlanta Dream.
There will also be some changes to indoor sports venues by June 11 at major sports venues. On May 14, indoor venues like the ESA and Capital One Arena can accommodate crowds of up to 25% capacity, NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes reported today. This means that the Mystics’ season opener on May 15 against the Chicago Sky can hold about 1,050 fans at 25% capacity, over 420 at 10%.
The Washington Wizards won’t have a full capacity crowd this season unless they run a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. Since the first round of the playoffs begins on May 22, that means the Wizards will likely have to make it into the second round of the playoffs, which will also be pushed back to at least six or seven games before there is a full capacity crowd at Capital One Arena. .
As for Capital One Arena having Wizards games at 25% capacity, the Wizards’ last two home games against the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 14 and the Charlotte Hornets on May 16 will have larger crowds.
The end of the pandemic is in sight!