Governor Northam announced new measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which are in effect as of Monday, November 16.
Business owners can reference and download the industry-specific guidelines at LoudounIsReady.com. Maintained by Loudoun Economic Development, Visit Loudoun and the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, “Loudoun Is Ready” unites business owners and boosts consumer confidence as they look to support the businesses that call Loudoun home.
Here are the five new changes that Loudoun businesses should know:
- Public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings. The governor’s office has clarified that the 25-person limit applies to events such as weddings, but not capacity limits for schools or restaurants.
- Everyone ages 5 and over is required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
- All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
- The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.
- All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
The full text of the amended Executive Order Sixty-Three and Order of Public Health Emergency Five and sixth amended Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven are available here.