Most of Virginia began gradual reopening | Here’s a look at the guidelines, exceptions

Most of Virginia began gradual reopening | Here’s a look at the guidelines, exceptions
Phase One of reopening Virginia begins in most places throughout the state Friday, May 15. Some retail businesses will reopen with limited capacity, but indoor gyms would remain closed, beaches would remain closed to sunbathers and restaurants would still be prohibited from indoor dine-in service. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WWBT) - Most of Virginia began the first phase of a gradual reopening plan put in place by Gov. Ralph Northam.

The governor allowed some nonessential businesses to reopen Friday in most of the state. However, Northern Virginia, Richmond and Accomack County were all granted two-week delays.

Northam has said he’s basing his decision to reopen on positive trends in key metrics related to the virus’ spread, like hospital readiness and testing capacity.

There will still be severe restrictions in place during phase one. Keep scrolling for a full breakdown.

Some retail businesses will reopen with limited capacity, but indoor gyms would remain closed, beaches would remain closed to sunbathers and restaurants would still be prohibited from indoor dine-in service.


Here’s a full breakdown of the guidelines:

Restaurant and Beverage Services

  • During Phase 1, businesses should continue to offer takeout and delivery options. If businesses choose to open to dine-in customers, they may only do so in outdoor spaces and must adhere to additional requirements including limiting occupancy to 50 percent. Read more.

Brick and Mortar Retail

  • Businesses must strictly adhere to the physical distancing guidelines (50 percent of the lowest occupancy), enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, and enhanced workplace safety practices, including six feet of space between customers and employees. Read more.

Personal Care and Grooming Services

  • Services can be provided by-appointment-only and occupancy must be limited to 50 percent. Face coverings will also be required for employees and customers. Read more.

Fitness and Exercise Facilities

  • If businesses choose to offer fitness and exercise services, they may only do so in outdoor spaces and must adhere to additional requirements like social distancing. Read more.

Farmers Markets

  • During Phase 1, farmers’ markets should continue to offer order ahead and pickup options. If markets choose to open, they may only do so in outdoor spaces and they must adhere to additional requirements. Read more.

Campgrounds and Overnight Summer Camps

  • All lots available must be 20-feet apart and all common areas will remain closed. There will be no physical sharing of recreation equipment and visitors will be encouraged to wear face masks.
  • No gatherings will be permitted with more than 10 people and no day-passes or visitors will be allowed. Read more.

Exceptions

City of Richmond

  • Governor Ralph Northam has granted Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s request to delay “Phase One” of reopening the city. Stoney says he “cannot justify risking the health and safety of the residents of the great city of Richmond by moving forward" on Friday, May 15.
  • Richmond will now enter Phase One of reopening no earlier than midnight on Thursday, May 28.
  • This delay does not include the surrounding counties. Read more.

Northern Virginia

  • Northam said Tuesday he’s signed an executive order extending mandated closures and restrictions on businesses in northern Virginia, a heavily populated area where regional officials have said they’re not yet ready to reopen.
  • The region will delay Phase One of reopening until at least May 29. Read more.

Accomack County

  • The rural county on the Eastern Shore is opting out of beginning to reopen Friday as well.
  • Northam granted the county a delay until May 28. Read more.

Other Best Practices For Phase One:

Physical Distancing

  • Continue to social distance by staying six feet away from others
  • Provide clear communication and signage for physical distancing in areas where individuals may congregate, especially at entrances, in seating areas, and in check-out lines
  • Limit the occupancy of physical spaces to ensure that adequate physical distancing may be maintained.
  • Utilize face coverings when possible.
  • Read more.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas and hard surfaces, including check out stations and payment pads, store entrance push/pull pads, door knobs/handles, dining tables/chairs, light switches, handrails, restrooms, floors, and equipment.
  • Provide a place for employees and customers to wash hands with soap and water, or provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Read more.

Enhanced Workplace Safety

  • Encourage telework whenever possible.
  • Prior to a shift and on days employees are scheduled to work, employers should screen employees prior to starting work. Instruct employees who are sick to stay at home and not report to work.
  • When developing staff schedules, implement additional short breaks to increase the frequency with which staff can wash hands with soap and water.
  • Limit the number of employees in break rooms and stagger breaks to discourage gatherings.
  • Read more.

Previously, Governor Ralph Northam announced a three-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy.

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