Governor Eases Additional Restrictions beginning May 15, 2021

Date: April 30, 2021

Governor Northam recently announced Virginia will relax COVID-19 restrictions around social events and restaurant operations on May 15, with hopes to eliminate all gathering and capacity limits by June.


Governor Northam also announced Virginia is updating its rules on mask-wearing to match new federal guidelines that say fully vaccinated people need not wear masks outdoors if alone or in small groups.  The state still requires people to wear masks at large events like graduation ceremonies, concerts, or sporting events.  Mask wearing and social distancing are still required indoors.


Here is a summary of the changes:


Social gatherings: Indoor social gatherings will be capped at 100 people. Outdoor social gatherings will be capped at 250 people.


Alcohol sales: Restaurants can return to selling alcohol after midnight. Dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5 a.m.

Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and amusement venues can operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Outdoor venues can operate at 50 percent capacity regardless of capacity limits.


Recreational sporting events: Indoor recreational sporting events will allow 250 fans or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor events will allow 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less and go into effect immediately rather than May 15.


The full text of Sixth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine is available HERE.  Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found HERE.

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