A week from today, May 15th, most of Virginia, with the possible exception of Northern Virginia, will move to Phase One of Governor Northam’s plan for reopening. Restaurants, breweries, and wineries will be allowed to open for outside dining only, and at only 50% capacity.
Churches will be allowed to open at half capacity.
Beaches will remain closed except for exercise and fishing. The state is working on cleaning beaches before reopening. (Can they sanitize beaches? Doesn’t sunlight kill coronavirus? Beaches are the best place for people, outside in the sun and humidity.)
Entertainment venues and gyms will remain closed except those gyms that have outside space.
The 10 people limit on gatherings, including state parks, will remain in effect.
Much of Phase One will be the same as the current rules, it is recommended that we wear masks in public, stay at home as much as possible (Safer at Home is the new moto), continue teleworking and the limits on gatherings.
More details on Phase One reopenings here.
Phase One will last at least two weeks and perhaps longer depending on Virginia’s coronavirus data. When we move into Phase Two restaurants will be allowed to open their dining rooms but again at only 50% capacity. (Since most restaurants do not have outside seating areas, Virginia restaurants will not open at even half capacity until at least May 29th). It has not been determined how long Phase Two will last or when restaurants and other venues may again function at full capacity.
Northern Virginia will be allowed to postpone Phase One opening by two weeks if they choose. Governor Northam will be discussing this over the weekend with NOVA leaders and will announce on Monday if they have agreed to postpone Phase One for two weeks in Northern Virginia. It sounds like the entire NOVA region will not begin Phase One until May 29th. The Governor did not elaborate on how many counties would be encompassed in the delay of Phase One but he said all of NOVA counties would have to be included so people couldn’t simply drive to the next county for haircuts and restaurant meals. (Won’t there always be another more open county they can drive to? And gas is cheap!)
The Governor said all the details for Phase One will be available at Virginia.gov.
Northern Virginia Boards of Supervisors chairs have asked Northam to consult with them before making reopening plans, the story here, scroll about halfway down the page. Of course they want a say. Why should Northam have all the power?