Vaccine, mask mandates lifted for Capitals and Wizards games

Capital One Arena

Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser announced in her COVID-19 Situational Update on Monday that indoor sports arenas such as Capital One Arena will no longer be required to verify the vaccination status of admitted fans beginning Tuesday and the District’s mask mandate will be lifted March 1.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns both the Capitals and Wizards, released an updated health and safety policy Tuesday saying Capital One Arena will not require guests to present their vaccination status beginning Feb. 15. Starting March 1, guests will also no longer be required to wear masks to attend Capitals and Wizards games.

In addition to sports venues, the mask mandate will be lifted for restaurants and bars, gyms, grocery stores, businesses, houses of worship and D.C. government offices with no public interaction.

According to Bowser, the number of coronavirus cases in D.C. has dropped by more than 90% since the height of the Omicron variant wave. Hospitalization rates are down 95% over that same span.

Despite the vaccination and mask requirements, the Capitals rank second in the NHL with an average home attendance of 18,573 fans per game. They’re the only team in the league to surpass half a million total fans admitted thus far this season.

The Wizards, meanwhile, are averaging 15,135 fans per home game, good for 25th in the NBA.