Gov. Northam easing Virginia’s coronavirus restrictions on weddings, sports, entertainment in April

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed that as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise in the Commonwealth, certain sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate with additional capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering limits will increase starting on April 1.

“With increased vaccination capacity and our health metrics continuing to trend in the right direction, we can safely take these targeted steps to ease certain mitigation measures. Virginians have come so far for the past year, and now is not the time to simply throw the doors open or let down our guard. While some capacity limits will be increased, we must all remember to stay vigilant and work together to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

The Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued mitigation strategies like physical distancing, teleworking and universal mask requirements.

Key changes in the Fourth Amended Executive Order 72 include:

Social Gatherings

  • The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 50 people for indoor settings and 100 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Entertainment Venues

  • All indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees. These venues were previously limited to 30 percent capacity or up to 1,000 attendees, whichever was fewer.

Recreational Sporting Events

  • The number of spectators allowed at recreational sporting events will increase from 25 to 100 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and from 250 to 500 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for outdoor settings.

In-person Graduation and Commencement Events

  • Last week, Northam issued preliminary guidance on safe in-person graduations and commencements, which included a cap of 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less. Events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.

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