Northam relaxes COVID-19 capacity, social gathering restrictions

Local Coronavirus Coverage

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Citing increasing vaccinations in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam announced an easing of certain COVID-19 restrictions.

Northam said sports and entertainment venues may operate under increased capacity and social distancing limits beginning May 15.

Changes that will go into effect on May 15 include:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, up from 30 percent capacity or 500 people. Outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity—up from 30 percent—with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
  • Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events will increase from 100 to 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor recreational sporting events will increase from 500 to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less.
  • Alcohol sales: Restaurants may return to selling alcohol after midnight, and dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

Northam’s full executive order can be viewed online. Updated guidelines for businesses can also be found online.

More than half of adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the governor.

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