Denver Issues New COVID-19 Public Health Orders

Published on May 14, 2021

Capacity limits, distancing and mask requirements lifted for most settings

Aligning with neighboring jurisdictions around the metro area, Denver is lifting capacity limits and distancing requirements in nearly all settings, and is also relaxing face-covering mandates, following new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Denver’s residents, our recovery continues to gain momentum,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The number of people getting vaccinated is going up every day and our case rates are steadily declining. It’s time to say goodbye to capacity limits and distancing requirements, and for those of us who are fully vaccinated, time to remove our masks in most circumstances. And to truly put this pandemic behind us, we still need more of our residents to get vaccinated. That is the absolute best way to protect ourselves, our families and our city.”

The public health and face covering orders take effect Sunday, May 16.

The revised public health order regarding capacity and distancing requirements includes the following changes:

  • There will be no capacity limits in offices, retail businesses, restaurants, personal services, or bars.
  • Restaurants will have no limit on party size.
  • Gyms, recreation centers, and pools can continue to operate at full capacity and will no longer have distancing requirements.

The following settings still have some limits and restrictions:

  • Indoor events of more than 500 people must get approval from DDPHE and CDPHE
  • Outdoor seated and ticketed events in spaces 30,000 square feet or greater must get approval from DDPHE to increase their current capacity allowances.

The Denver face covering order will be revised to align with the State’s new face covering order. Face coverings will not be required except in settings such as hospitals, childcare centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes and prisons. This rule will apply to children age 3 and older in Denver. Some private businesses, including grocery stores, large retailers and coffee shops, may also choose to continue requiring face coverings.

“Denver’s new face covering order aligns with neighboring counties and the State’s requirements,” said Bob McDonald, Executive Director of Denver Department of Public Health & Environment. “As a reminder, we encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated, to get vaccinated.”

With the removal of the capacity and social distancing requirements for businesses, Denver’s 5 Star Business Certification Program is being suspended, and applications will no longer be accepted. Should restrictions be re-imposed in the future, the program will resume.

For more information on how and where to get vaccinated, visit our vaccination page.