Gov. Ralph Northam announced in a press conference on Tuesday that he will begin to ease pandemic-related restrictions as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise in the Commonwealth.
Under these new guidelines, beginning Thursday, April 1, certain sports and entertainment venues will be able to operate with additional capacity, while indoor and outdoor gathering limits will also increase.
“With increased vaccination capacity and our health metrics continuing to trend the right direction, we can safely take these targeted steps to ease certain mitigation measures,” Northam said. “Virginians have come so far over the past year, and now is not the time to simply throw the doors open or let down our guard. While some capacity limits will be increased, we must all remember to stay vigilant and work together to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.”
According to the amended Executive Order, Virginia will maintain a “Safer at Home” strategy and continue social distancing, teleworking and mask requirements. Additional changes to the order include:
- Social gatherings will increase to 50 people for indoor settings and 100 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
- Entertainment venues, both indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues, must continue to operate at 30% capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30% capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30% capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
- Recreational sporting events will increase from 25 to 100 people per field or 30% capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and from 250 to 500 people per field or 30% capacity, whichever is less for outdoor settings.
- In-person graduation and commencement events have a cap of 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less. Events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.
For more specific guidelines and information, visit Governor.Virginia.gov.