Governor Northam says he is ready to “slowly ease” COVID-related restrictions as of April 1st. They include:
Social gatherings will be permitted up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
Entertainment venues will be permitted to operate up to 30% capacity with a limit of up to 500 people indoors — and no limits outdoors within that 30%.
Recreational sports events will be permitted to admit up to 100 spectators indoors and 500 outdoors — but also with that 30% cap.
Graduation and commencement ceremonies face similar 30% capacity limits, up to 500 people indoors and 5,000 outdoors.
Northam did not change current restrictions impacting restaurants and bars.
The governor says the easing of restrictions is direct result of a sharp drop in statewide cases:
Northam says he is also encouraged by declining numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitalized and on ventilators.
NEWS RELEASE: RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise in Virginia, certain sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate with additional capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering limits will increase starting Thursday, April 1. He amended Executive Order Seventy-Two with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus. More than two million Virginians, or approximately one in four people, have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering 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: All indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees. These venues were previously limited to 30 percent capacity or up to 1,000 attendees, whichever was fewer.
- Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at recreational sporting events will increase from 25 to 100 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and from 250 to 500 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for outdoor settings.
- In-person graduation and commencement events: Last week, Governor Northam issued preliminary guidance on safe in-person graduations and commencements, which included a cap of 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less. Events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.