As COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise in Virginia, pandemic restrictions are about to be loosened a little more according to Gov. Ralph Northam's latest announcement.
The expanded limits impact sports and entertainment venues and social gatherings and will start Saturday, May 15.
Virginia will continue to mandate mask-wearing and social distancing but key changes in the sixth amended Executive Order Seventy-Two will 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 a.m.
This week, Northam announced bar seating was allowed and expanded recreational sports limits.
“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Governor Northam said. “Vaccination numbers are up, and our COVID case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year. So we have been able to begin easing some mitigation measures. We took a few more targeted steps this week, and we will do more next month."