The year 2021 has been full of coronavirus restrictions and for good reason. There was a significant spike in cases throughout the United States last winter and many hospitals were strained due to severely ill patients. However, the country is largely vaccinated (45.8 percent of the overall population received at least one dose, 34.4 percent have both) and locally, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have seen about 50 percent of the population receive at least one dose.
Given that the U.S. is vaccinated at a higher rate than nearly every country in the world, Israel and Seychelles being notable exceptions, coronavirus cases have dropped down dramatically. And that means a return to a new post-pandemic normal.
On Monday, Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser announced that most capacity and time closing restrictions on businesses will be lifted on May 21. That means stores can have more people inside. And for office workers, that means they can go back inside like it’s February 2020.
However, places like bars, nightclubs and large sporting venues will still be subject to their current restrictions on May 21. Bowser also announced that the restrictions on these places will be removed on June 11.
That means that Washington Mystics games can have full capacity crowds at the Entertainment and Sports Arena as early as Thursday, June 17 when they host the Atlanta Dream.
There will also be some changes at indoor sporting venues between now and June 11 at large sporting venues. On May 14, indoor venues like ESA and Capital One Arena can hold crowds up to 25 percent capacity, which Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reported today. This means the Mystics’ season opener on May 15 against the Chicago Sky can hold about 1,050 fans at 25 percent capacity, more than 420 which is at a 10 percent capacity.
The Washington Wizards won’t have any full capacity crowds this season unless they make a deep run in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Since the first round of the playoffs starts on May 22, that means the Wizards will likely have to make the second round of the playoffs which also gets pushed out 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 percent capacity, the Wizards’ remaining two home games against the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 14 and Charlotte Hornets on May 16 will get to have bigger crowds.
The end of the pandemic is in sight!