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Governor Northam Begins to Ease Pandemic Restrictions As More Virginians Are Vaccinated

A day after quietly lifting the ban on restaurant bar service, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced additional loosening of coronavirus pandemic restrictions that are set to begin on May 15.

As more Virginians become vaccinated again covid-19, the governor has decided to expand numbers on social gathering limits for sports and entertainment venues.

“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Governor Northam said in a statement. “Vaccination numbers are up, and our covid-19 case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year. So, we have been able to begin easing some mitigation measures. We took a few more targeted steps this week, and we will do more next month.”

The new measures, which were announced on April 22 and will go into effect on May 15, include the following:

  • Social gatherings can increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings.
  • Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues can operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people; Outdoor venues can operate at 50 percent capacity with no specific cap on number of attendees
  • The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events can increase to 250 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less; Outdoor recreational sporting events can increase to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less.
  • Restaurants can return to selling alcohol after midnight and dining rooms will no longer have to close between midnight and 5am

Governor Northam added in his statement that he plans to revisit measures and could take additional steps toward easing restrictions even more in June. In the meantime, masks are still required as well as social distancing even as commercial restrictions are further eased.

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