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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gov. Northam announces new COVID-19 guidelines

(WYDaily/Screenshot courtesy of VPM)

STATEWIDE — On Thursday, April 22, Governor Ralph Northam announced that capacity restrictions for social gatherings, entertainment and sports venues will expand beginning Saturday, May 15.

The announcement comes as a result of the increased number of Virginians that are both eligible and receiving vaccinations for COVID-19.

“Vaccination numbers are up, and our COVID-19 case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year,” said Governor Northam.

RELATED STORY: I’m fully vaccinated… now what?

While the governor remains optimistic for the next few months, he reminded Virginians to continue to follow certain mandated guidelines.

“But some things need to continue — we all need to keep wearing masks, social distancing, and encouraging each other to get the shot. It’s how we take care of one another,” he said.

While the Commonwealth will continue its mandates for mask-wearing and social distancing, there will be key changes in COVID-19 restrictions under the governor’s Sixth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted at a social gathering will be increased to 100 for indoors and 250 for outdoors.
  • Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people. Additionally, outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with no cap on the number of guests.
  • Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators that will be allowed to attend indoor recreational sporting events will increase to 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity. Outdoor recreational sporting events will increase to 500 spectators or 50 percent capacity, whichever number would be less.
  • Alcohol sales: Restaurants will be able to starting selling alcohol after midnight and dining room closures will no longer be required between the hours of 12:00 – 5:00 a.m.

Virginians over the age of 16 can schedule an appointment for vaccination by visiting or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). To access Virginia’s COVID-19 virtual dashboard, click here.

To read the full text of Sixth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine, please click here. Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found by clicking here. To watch the governor’s address in it’s entirety, click on the video below.


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