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Entry Requirement Guidance for Alcohol Licensees

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Yesterday, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board adopted emergency rulemaking regarding face mask and vaccination verification requirements to ensure alcohol laws are consistent with Mayor’s Order 2021-147, Mayor’s Order 2021-148 and Mayor’s Order 2022-007.

Effective at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 15, on-premises retailers, including bed and breakfasts, nightclubs, restaurants, taverns, and multipurpose facilities, and manufacturers with an on-site sales and consumption permit must:

  • Verify that patrons twelve (12) years of age or older have received at least one (1) vaccination against COVID-19 prior to permitting entry. Physical and digital proof of vaccination are acceptable.
    • Please note that a proof of vaccination is NOT required for a:
      • Quick or limited purpose such as placing or picking up a take-out order or using the restroom.
      • Person entitled under law to a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief. If a patron asserts a medical or religious exemption, they must provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the last 24-hours and documentation such as a note from a medical provider or self-attestation that they have a sincerely held religious belief.
  • Verify proof of vaccination with a valid photo identification for patrons who are 18 years of age and older. Accepted forms of photo identifications may include but are not limited to include a driver’s license, any state issued identification, passport, immigrant work permit, military identification card, DC One card, or student identification document.
  • Post visible signage prior to entry informing patrons of the vaccination verification requirement for entrance.

Additionally, establishment personnel must verify a patron’s proof of vaccination and photo identification upon each visit regardless of their familiarity with a patron.

Alcohol licensed establishments must also continue to:

  • Require all staff to wear a face mask while indoors except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Require patrons to wear face masks to enter the interior of the establishment—except for individuals under the age of two (2) years old or who have a medical or mental health condition or a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering.
  • Post visible signage prior to entry informing patrons of the face mask wearing requirements.

ABRA will distribute additional guidance in the weeks ahead regarding Mayor Bowser’s full vaccination requirement announced to take effect on Tuesday, February 15.

Requirements are reflected in Mayor’s Order 2021-147, Mayor’s Order 2021-148, Mayor’s Order 2022-007 and the Notice of Seventeenth Emergency Rulemaking. Additional entry guidance is available at

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].