On March 31, 2020 the District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a Stay-At-Home Order effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. This is in addition to the order issued on March 25, 2020 for all non-essential business to close and prohibiting social gatherings of more than 10 people. The Order issued also requires individuals in the District of Columbia to remain in their residences absent certain essential reasons, such as obtaining supplies or medication for one’s self or others, caring for a family member or pet, visiting a health care professional, obtaining supplies needed to work from home, performing work in an essential business or minimum basic operations for a non-essential business, or walking, running, hiking, or otherwise engaging in physical activity that complies with certain social distancing requirements.
The Order remains in effect through April 24, 2020 or until it is otherwise extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by a subsequent Order.
For businesses, there are several key changes to the latest order:
- Individuals are able leave their residences for the following reasons:
- To work at Essential Businesses,
- To obtain supplies necessary to work from home,
- Or to provide Minimum Basic Operations for Non-Essential Businesses.
- To provide home-based services, so long as the services do not involve physical touching and can be carried out in accordance with certain social distancing requirements. The only exception is for those individuals who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or any other transmissible infectious disease, who cannot leave their residences unless they are obtaining medical care.
The DCRA may impose penalties on businesses that operate in violation of the Order, including summary closure, hearings at the Office of Administrative Hearings, Notices of Infractions, penalties of up to $1,000 per day per site operating in violation of any the Orders, and penalties of up to $5,000 per day per site operating after either an Order to close or an inspector’s warning or request to close. The Alcohol Beverage Control Administration may also revoke liquor licenses or permission for delivery services.
Individuals or entities that knowingly violate the Order may also be subject to sanctions including $1,000 fines, summary suspension, or revocation of business licensure. In addition, individuals who willfully violate the Stay at Home Order may be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 90 days or both.