In addition to announcing that Virginia schools would be closed for the rest of this academic year, Governor Northam today issued a statewide order that closes certain non-essential businesses and bans all gatherings of more than 10 people. The Governor also urged all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
- Full press release
- Full text of Executive Order Fifty-Three
- Additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide
Here is a summary of the Governor’s Actions.
Certain retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours: Note that trucking is not considered a retail business. Of importance to the trucking, the list includes
- Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
- Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. Any brick-and-mortar retail business not included in the list above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons (does not include staff) per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close
Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments
All dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, wineries, etc. must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.
All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.
Recreation and Entertainment Businesses
Certain recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
Professional businesses not listed above must utilize telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, including CDC,OSHA, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor