Gov. Northam announces major changes to COVID-19 restrictions

Gov. Northam announces major changes to COVID-19 restrictions

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Northam announced Tuesday that he is relaxing the state’s COVID-19 restrictions as vaccine efforts ramp up and new cases start to slow down.

“Now as we look to ease those measures, we’re focused on places where there is the least risk for spread such as outdoor venues,” said Governor Ralph Northam, (D) Virginia.

Northam says the state currently averages around 1,400 COVID-19 cases per day. Because those numbers are trending down, starting on April 1, social gatherings may have up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

Capacity limits for other indoor and outdoor events will be increased, as well, but folks will still need to wear masks and follow other protocols. See full list of changes below.

Social Gatherings:

  • Indoor capped at 50 people (up from 10)
  • Outdoor capped at 100 people (up from 25)

Entertainment venues:

  • Indoor capped at 500 people or 30% capacity
  • Outdoor 30% capacity (no limit)

Recreational sports:

  • Indoor will go from 25 people to 100 (30% capacity)
  • Outside will go from 250 people to 500 (30% capacity)

Graduation Guidance:

  • Outside at 5,000 attendees or 30% capacity
  • Indoor at 500 attendees or 30% capacity

These changes do not apply to bars, restaurants, gyms or salons; those capacity limits do not change.

“Any type of place of business like that that’s high risk, we’re going to do it in a measured approach. As soon as we can open or lift measures safely and responsibly, we will,” said Northam.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Northam announced that 1 out of every 4 Virginians has at least one vaccine shot.

“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,” said Northam. “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.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.