Coronavirus restrictions for Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and other regional vacation destinations

Virginia News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Looking to hit the road for the long Labor Day weekend? Before leaving consider what coronavirus restrictions are in place at some of your favorite destinations across Virginia, Washington, D.C., the Carolinas, and Tennessee.

Remember to wear a face mask no matter where you travel and practice proper social distance.

Virginia Beach/Williamsburg

Planning a quick getaway to Virginia Beach? Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s making no changes to Virginia’s coronavirus restrictions ahead of Labor Day weekend, saying this will give the state a “running start” into the fall.

Extra restrictions that went into effect in late July for Hampton Roads cut off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. and closed restaurants at midnight. They also capped restaurants at 50% capacity and limited events to 50 people. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer had asked Northam to lift the restrictions in time for the holiday weekend.

“I understand from a business perspective the importance of Labor Day but we have come too far to go back,” Northam said. “With back to school coming in different forms and with colleges returning, now is the time to double down on what is working so we can set ourselves up for success this fall.”

Northam cited surges in cases after Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends as the reason for the decision. “We have to remain vigilant.”

Northam added “We’re at a more acceptable range but we’re still not close to where we need to be to ease these restrictions.”

While King’s Dominion near Richmond remains closed, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg has reopened. Busch Gardens does require reservations, face coverings, and guests and employees undergo temperature screening before entering the park. Social distancing is in place across the park and in park restaurants, as well. View Busch Gardens’ safety information here.

Myrtle Beach

Early in the summer, Myrtle Beach was a hot spot for coronavirus. In fact, the Virginia Department of Health recommended people self-quarantine after a visit to the regional beach destination.

While outbreaks in Virginia and West Virginia connected to Myrtle Beach have declined, some restrictions are still in place. The Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau says there are many restaurants open for dine-in service at 50% capacity. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery are also options.

Other businesses, facilities, venues, events, and mass gatherings were permitted to reopen on Aug. 3.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks

North Carolina moves to Phase 2.5 of coronavirus restrictions at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5.

OuterBanks.org lists the following restrictions in place as of this writing (Thursday, Sept. 3):

  • Social distancing guidelines are still in place.
  • Face coverings must be worn in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Gatherings are limited to 25 people or less inside (excluding guests sharing a vacation rental home) and 50 or less outside.
  • In-restaurant dining is allowed at 50% capacity. Many restaurants are also offering the option of take-out and delivery. A list of the Dare restaurants can be found at outerbanks.org/takeout.
  • Businesses, including grocery stores, have limits on the number of people allowed in the store at any given time based on square footage.
  • Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.

Sevierville/Great Smoky Mountains

Face coverings are required in Sevier County. Face coverings must be used in indoor public settings and where you cannot socially distance.

Dollywood and Great Smoky Mountain National Park have re-opened to guests. Dollywood is operating at limited capacity and face masks are required and temperature screenings will be taken prior to entry. Socially distanced lines have also been implemented with marked barriers. You can read about the restrictions at Dollywood here.

Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia entered Phase II reopening on June 22. You must wear a mask in the District, just like here in Virginia and other states.

Many outdoor areas have been converted for dining and pickup and delivery.

The National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly are the only Smithsonian Institution museums open at this time, though free timed passes are required. All other Smithsonian museums remain closed.

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