Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that he plans to loosen business and social restrictions for the whole state July 1, moving into Phase Three reopening an economy he largely shuttered in March amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Northam said he anticipates that two of the state’s hardest-hit areas — Northern Virginia and Richmond — will transition along with the rest of the commonwealth, although he would consider a delay in those areas if officials there are uncomfortable with the move. Northern Virginia leaders said Tuesday they are largely on board with Northam’s plan to move into Phase 3, despite the region’s higher rates of infection.
Under Phase 3, child-care centers will be allowed to reopen and the cap on large social gatherings will rise to 250. Restaurants and nonessential retail businesses will be able to operate at full capacity, with physical distancing measures.
Swimming pools, indoor gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity. Barbershops and hair salons will be allowed to take walk-ins, but with masks and distancing required.
Entertainment venues, such as museums and zoos, will be permitted to open at 50 percent capacity, with a cap of 1,000 people at outdoor venues. Certain restrictions will remain in place. People still must wear masks in indoor public spaces. Overnight summer camps will stay closed.
Northam said he will continue to encourage Virginians to stay home when possible, telework and observe social distancing.