The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association writes a letter to Governor Northam in response to the governor's announcement of Phase One opening.
VRLTA says Northam's limitation of only outdoor dining for food establisments to be allowed during Phase One of reopening is not fair for those who do not have outdoor seating.
In the letter, VRTLA encourages Northam to allow restaurants to have the option to offer indoor dining with physical distancing.
The letter also touches on the fact that beaches are not included in the first phase, unlike North Carolina and Maryland.
VRTLA asks Northam to show how restaurants are less safe than these other businesses including “nonessential retail” which is allowed to open at 50% capacity.
The letter explains that the federal assistance has not brought relief to hospitality and tourism businesses. VRTLA says many restaurants, hotels, attractions, and campgrounds are having challenges obtaining federal relief from programs that are rigid and difficult to utilize.
A grant fund was created that would tax Games of Skill and appropriate the revenue to create a COVID-19 grant relief fund, however, according to VRTLA, the relief program would not be available until July 1st at the earliest.
The letter asks Northam to immediately create a COVID-19 relief grant fund until these businesses can fully reopen.
VRTLA urges Northam follow the path of twelve other states that have used federal relief funding to assist businesses, allow restaurants to offer limited indoor dining in Phase One, and allow beaches to reopen.
To read the full letter, click here.