(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) All of Virginia will enter Phase 3 of the reopening on Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced this afternoon.
Northam said that statewide coronavirus infection and hospitalization data is trending in the right direction, and the state has ample hospital bed availability and supplies of personal protective equipment, allowing a wider business reopening. Arlington and Northern Virginia entered Phase 2 of the reopening on Friday, June 12.
“This gives us about three and a half weeks in Phase 2, where we have been able to follow the data,” Northam said, adding that he wants people to keep wearing masks and follow guidelines to avoid recent spikes in other states.
“This is because Virginians have followed the guidelines of social distancing, handwashing and use of facial protection,” he said of the next reopening phase. “We encourage you to continue doing that.”
Phase 3 will:
- Allow social gatherings with groups of up to 250
- Lift capacity restrictions on non-essential retail stores
- Lift capacity restrictions on restaurants, though all parties must be separated by at least six feet
- Allow fitness centers and pools to open at 75% capacity
- Allow entertainment venues to open at 50% capacity
- Allow barbershops and salons to serve customers without an appointment
- Still required masks to be worn in indoor public spaces
.@GovernorVA announced that the entire Commonwealth is planning to move into Phase 3 on July 1 to allow gatherings of up to 250 people. Non-essential retail & restaurant capacity limits will be lifted. Virginians remain required to wear face coverings & practice social distancing pic.twitter.com/fwYNuuMYJR
— Eileen Filler-Corn (@EFillerCorn) June 23, 2020
Northam said the Virginia Dept. of Health is continuing to hire contact tracers, to help stamp out coronavirus outbreaks, noting that about 1,000 have been hired so far.
Ashley Hopko contributed to this report