Saturday, September 30, 2023

Virginia Beach is reopening services and popular gathering spots

More city facilities in Virginia Beach are reopening to the public soon.

That includes the Virginia Aquarium, libraries, recreation centers and other buildings throughout Virginia Beach where city services are delivered, according to a news release from the city.

“We are excited to reopen and welcome the public back into our buildings,” said Acting City Manager Tom Leahy. “Part of our reopening protocols is to ensure the environments are safe, healthy and secure for the public and employees.”

The police department, Emergency Medical Services, and Office of the City Treasurer are all open to the public.

The Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office is open by appointment only. The state’s DMV Select services provided through the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office will not be open until a later date.

All functions and services provided by Planning & Community Development are available, including Permits and Inspections. Staff is still accepting submittals dropped off in the building vestibule and online. Call 757-385-4621 for more information.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center – Friday, June 19

New safety measures have been developed to keep guests, staff, volunteers and animals safe, including:

  • Requiring online reservations to create a touch-free payment process
  • Limiting capacity with timed tickets, both for members and general admission
  • Requiring guests 10 and older, staff, and volunteers to wear face coverings (in accordance with the Virginia Governor’s Executive Order 63)
  • Creating one-way paths throughout the Aquarium
  • Providing additional hand sanitizing stations around the aquarium
  • Increasing sanitation procedures for high-contact surfaces in the aquarium
  • Not accepting reservations between 1 to 2 p.m. each day so staff can conduct additional thorough cleaning and sanitization
  • Complying with all state and local regulations concerning COVID-19

Other temporary changes include closing the café and snack stand; not offering special programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and scheduled feeding presentations; and not hosting private events, summer camps or school programs. Additionally, the Virginia Aquarium Giant Screen Theater will be closed.

Complete details are posted here.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

  • Wednesday, June 17– Small neighborhood playgrounds will reopen, however, district park playgrounds will remain closed to limit crowds, per the Governor’s Phase II guidelines.
  • Monday, June 22– Recreation centers will reopen in two phases for current members, by reservation only, starting with the Great Neck and Princess Anne locations. The other five centers will come online on July 6, provided all goes smoothly with the first phase.
  • There will be capacity limits and 10-foot spacing required in exercise areas.
  • Online reservations will be required to access the centers and each activity including group fitness (available for Premier, Silver Sneakers, Silver and Fit, and Renew Active members only), weight rooms, indoor multipurpose pools, and the gymnasiums for non-contact sports like pickleball and badminton.
  • Members will be notified by email of what is available and how to reserve spots.
  • Complete details will be posted at com/reopen.

Virginia Beach Public Library Will Offer Holds Pickups Monday, June 22

  • Library buildings will remain closed, however lobbies and drive-through windows will offer holds pickups at all locations except for the Wahab Public Law Library.
  • Customers should not go to the library until they receive an email, text or phone notification from VBPL that their holds are ready.
  • Holds pickup service will be offered Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Digital checkouts and programming will continue to be offered.
  • VBPL has been accepting material returns since June 8 at seven locations. Holds pickups are another initial step in the library’s phased reopening plan to safely resume in-person library services. Visit com/libraries for additional details.
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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