Bowser announced in a tweet that proof of vaccine will now be required at restaurants, bars, nightclubs, indoor entertainment facilities, gyms, and indoor meeting establishments, effective January 15. The news comes amid the rapid spread of omicron, the newest variant of the coronavirus that reportedly has milder symptoms than its predecessors.
Bowser's order reads that people 12 and older must have at least one dose of the vaccine, which will be upped to two doses by Feb. 15. Her order comes on the heels of similar policies in New York City, Chicago, and Boston.
Outraged social media users asked when the restrictions will end.
Other critics predicted Bowser's mandate will once again put businesses in unnecessarily rough shape. Charyssa Parent, director of Media Affairs at House Republican Conference, summed up the situation with caps locked.
Many of the same respondents noted that Bowser does not seem as intent on cracking down on violent crime in the nation's capital, which has skyrocketed in recent months. Two hundred homicides have been recorded so far in 2021. A number that tragically high has not been seen since 2003.
Several more announced their intentions to move, with the most popular destinations being Texas and Florida.
Bowser has been criticized in recent months for appearing to break her own COVID mandates. In August, she was photographed allegedly officiating a wedding without a mask, while other photos showed the mayor maskless along with hundreds of other wedding guests at The Line DC hotel in the district’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. At the time, the mayor had issued an order that reinstated that everyone over 2 years old regardless of vaccination status was required to wear a mask indoors.
In addition, Bowser was featured in photos celebrating her birthday sans mask alongside comedian Dave Chapelle hours before that mandate was enacted.
Fox News' Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.