All The Virginia Businesses Reopening During Phase One

Hand sanitizer and instructions greet a Zumba Gold class at the Shady Grove YMCA Friday May 15, 2020, in Glen Allen, Gov. Ralph Northam instituted a phase one reopening of certain portions of the state Friday. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Arianna Coghill

May 15, 2020

Most of Virginia is set to begin Phase One of the governor’s three-phase reopening plan. While northern Virginia, Richmond and Accomack county were granted two-week delays, the rest of the state will loosen some of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Gov. Ralph Northam said that he’s basing his decision to reopen on positive trends observed in key metrics related to the virus’s spread, like hospital readiness and testing capacity. 

Under Phase One, there will be severe restrictions to ensure that Virginians adhere to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.  However, several non-essential businesses will reopen their doors under certain provisions. Here is a breakdown which businesses can reopen starting Friday:

Restaurant and Beverage Services

  • Restaurants and beverage services will still offer takeout and delivery options. 
  • Dine-in options for customers are allowed, but only in outdoor spaces and with an occupancy of 50%.
  • Other guidelines include keeping seating at least six feet apart, using single disposable menus and banning outside food or drink. For further details, read here

Brick and Mortar Retail

  • Businesses must adhere to physical distancing guidelines by limiting occupancy to below 50% of their minimum
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices will be put in place. 
  • A six feet of space between customers and employees will be mandated. For further details read here

Personal Care and Grooming Services

  • Personal care and grooming services (like barber shops and hair salons) will be provided by appointment only and occupancy will be limited to 50%. 
  • Face coverings will be required by employees and customers. For further details read here.

Fitness and Exercise Facilities

  • Fitness and exercise services will only be offered in outdoor spaces and must adhere to additional requirements like social distancing. For further details read here.

Farmers Markets

  • Farmers’ markets will continue to offer order ahead and pickup options. 
  • If the markets choose to reopen, they may only do so in outdoor spaces and must adhere to other requirements, like enforcing that employees wear face coverings. 
  • On site shopping is allowed, but physical distancing guidelines must be adhered to. For further detail read here.
  • Other suggested measures include discouraging vendor sampling and providing hand sanitizers stations for patrons. 

Campgrounds and Overnight Summer Camps

  • All common areas will remain closed and all available lots must be 20-feet apart. 
  • There will be no sharing of recreational equipment and visitors are encouraged to wear face masks.
  • Gatherings with more than 10 people will not be permitted. 
  • No day passes or visitors will be allowed. For further details read here

Here are other best practices that are encouraged during Phase One. 

Physical Distancing

  • Continue to social distance by staying six feet away from others
  • Provide clear communication and signage for physical distancing in areas where individuals may congregate, especially at entrances, in seating areas, and in check-out lines
  • Limit the occupancy of physical spaces to ensure that adequate physical distancing may be maintained.
  • Utilize face coverings when possible. For further detail read here

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas and hard surfaces, including check out stations and payment pads, store entrance push/pull pads, door knobs/handles, dining tables/chairs, light switches, handrails, restrooms, floors, and equipment.
  • Provide a place for employees and customers to wash hands with soap and water, or provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol. For further details read here

Enhanced Workplace Safety

  • Encourage telework whenever possible.
  • Prior to a shift and on days employees are scheduled to work, employers should screen employees prior to starting work. Instruct employees who are sick to stay at home and not report to work.
  • When developing staff schedules, implement additional short breaks to increase the frequency with which staff can wash hands with soap and water.
  • Limit the number of employees in break rooms and stagger breaks to discourage gatherings. For further detail read here.
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