Norfolk brewery, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association react to new restrictions for Hampton Roads

Posted at 9:36 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 10:17:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. - New restrictions are coming to Hampton Roads.

Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam made an announcement while referencing COVID-19 data coming out of the region. He said this is all about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

“It happens when too many people gather together. When too many people are non-compliant, and as I've said before, when too many people are selfish,” Northam said.

The restrictions include no alcohol being sold or consumed on site after 10 p.m., and all restaurants must close by midnight. Indoor dining will be limited to 50% capacity, and all public and private social gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.

“We all know that alcohol changes your judgment,” Northam said. “You just don't care as much about social distancing after you've had a couple of drinks. That's when the virus gets spread.”

For Kenny Van Hook, he's worked to keep his brewery, Elation Brewing, afloat.

“We just kind of do our best and stick through it,” Van Hook said.

The pandemic has hit his business hard.

“It was down 90-some percent,” he said. “It's never recovered.”

He said Northam’s order won’t impact his business.

“We already close at 10 p.m. or earlier, depending on the day,” Van Hook said. “We also generally don't allow groups of 50 of more during the pandemic, and certainly not early on, and we're nowhere near our 50% capacity.”

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association (VRLTA) President Eric Terry told News 3 they weren’t surprised by the move with the COVID-19 information coming out of Hampton Roads.

He believes it will have some impact on business.

“We want to make sure that folks are doing the right thing,” Terry said. “Generally, we're supportive of the governor's actions, but obviously, we'd like to stay open a little longer. But, it is what it is.”

While Van Hook believes it will impact other businesses in the area, he said it's important to follow the guidelines and stop the spread.

Related: Restaurants in Downtown Norfolk still face challenges in Phase Three with loosened restrictions

“We don’t want anybody to be ill. We don't want anybody to be sick,” Van Hook said. “If we have to deal with curtailing what we do for a while, we're going to do it.”

The restrictions will take effect midnight Friday, July 31.

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