Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

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Reopening DC Guidance

Effective 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21, Mayor’s Order 2021-069 and ABC Board emergency rulemaking lift substantive restrictions on alcohol establishments implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Unchanged guidelines are noted. 

Service Hours 

  • On-premises alcohol hours for sales, service, and consumption revert to the hours permitted on the establishment’s alcohol license.
  • Registered streateries may operate from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m., daily. 

Total Capacity 

  • Alcohol licensed restaurants, taverns, hotels, private clubs, and common carriers; manufacturers holding an on-site sales and consumption permit; and festival and temporary license holders may operate at up to 100 percent capacity indoors and outdoors.
  • Nightclubs and multipurpose facilities are permitted to operate at 50 percent capacity—and increase capacity up to 100 percent at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.


  • Patrons may stand to order or consume food or beverages, socialize, and to participate in recreational activities such as dancing, darts, axe throwing, bowling, pool, games of skill, and DJs.
  • Patrons may sit and be served at bars being utilized by bartenders and other waitstaff.
  • Standing receptions are permitted.

Physical Distancing 

  • Physical distancing of patrons, tables, or seating is not required including at communal tables.

Live Entertainment

  • Live entertainment is permitted without physical distancing or face covering requirements.
  • Live entertainment is limited between 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily in registered streateries but may not be heard inside homes located in residential zones. No Change.
  • Background and recorded music may be played in registered streateries at a conversational level that is not heard in the homes of DC residents that are zoned residential. No Change.
  • Dancing and DJs are permitted. 
  • An Entertainment Endorsement is required to have entertainment in a registered streatery. No Change.

Prepared Food and Beverages 

  • Patrons may order alcohol for on-premises consumption indoors or outdoors without being required to purchase a prepared food item.
  • Buffets, self-service stations, and “BYOB” may be offered.

Alcohol Carry-Out and Delivery 

  • Alcohol carry-out and delivery hours will be restored to the originally permitted 6:00 a.m. -1:00 a.m. daily—an increase of one (1) hour.
  • Alcohol purchased for carry-out and delivery must be accompanied by at least one (1) prepared food item. This is a permanent statutory requirement. No Change.
  • License holders may utilize up to two (2) additional locations for carry-out and delivery. Advance registration is requiredNo Change.


  • Sidewalk cafes, summer gardens, and streateries may not have more than two (2) side flaps or walls and a roof on outdoor dining structures, tents, or canopies. No Change.


  • Establishments must implement a reservation system for contact tracing purposes. No Change.
  • Contact information from at least one person per party must be collected and maintained for at least 30-days. No Change.

Face Masks and Coverings 

  • Establishments must allow their staff to wear a face covering if preferred.
  • Establishments may require that patrons wear a face covering when entering the establishment unless the patron is under the age of two (2) years old or has a medical or mental health condition or a disability that prevents the patron from wearing a face covering. Signage providing guidance to patrons must be posted at entrances.
  • Cloth face covering guidance is available.

Resuming Programs

Information Session