D.C. Mayor’s July 27 Order Requires Self-Quarantine After Non-Essential Travel During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On July 27, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an Order requiring all residents and persons traveling to and from “high-risk areas” within the prior 14 days for non-essential travel to the self-quarantine for 14 days following the return or arrival to the District of Columbia.

Persons who are traveling through a high-risk area such as through an airport or by vehicle are not subject to the self-quarantine requirement. For purposes of the Order, “high-risk areas” is defined as a location where the seven day moving average of daily new COVID-19 case rate is 10 or more per 100,000 persons. These locations will be identified by the District of Columbia’s Department of Health beginning on July 27, 2020 and will be posted and updated every two weeks at coronavirus.dc.gov. Maryland and Virginia are exempt from the Order.

The July 27 Order exempts “Essential Travel,” which is defined in a separate Order issued by the Mayor (Mayor’s Order 2020 – 054 dated March 30, 2020) and also includes travel to or through the District of Columbia for any reason that lasts less than 24 hours.

However, persons returning to the District of Columbia after essential travel or arriving in the District of Columbia for essential travel are required to:

  1. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and
  2. Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.

Importantly, the Order also states that businesses and other employers, universities, apartments, condominiums and cooperatives may require employees, students, clients, customers, guests, visitors, or other persons to affirm compliance with the July 27 Order before allowing entry or providing services. The Order will take effect on July 27 and will remain in effect through, at least October 9, 2020 or the date that the state of emergency is extended, whichever is later.

Marc R. Engel is an employment attorney experienced in providing successful strategies for managing employees and preventing employment claims. For more information on what your company should consider when it comes to coronavirus in the workplace, contact Marc at 301-657-0184 or [email protected].