RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — To limit the spread of coronavirus, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered that non-essential recreation businesses close at midnight Tuesday. This new order will be in place for the next 30 days and applies to the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.
At midnight all non-essential recreation and entertainment centers like theatres, museums, gyms, barber shops and bowling alleys must close. Essential businesses like pharmacies, grocery stores and banks can stay open, but they must follow social distancing guidelines and increase sanitation.
Restaurants and bars can remain open but only for takeout and delivery. They must also limit the number of people inside to 10 or less — that number does not include staff members.
Gov. Northam said taking these steps will help Virginians in the long run.
“Our priority is to save lives,” Northam said. “We have a health crisis and we have an economic crisis but the sooner that we can get this health crisis under control, the sooner our economy will recover.”
Northam’s administration said the governor will adjust this new order as needed given the “quick changing public health crisis.”
Any business that does not closure or follow restriction requirements will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
What businesses must close?
- Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers
- Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart
- Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities
- Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement
Which businesses are considered essential?
- Grocery, pharmacy, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations
- Medical supply retailers
- Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology
- Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers
- Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
- Lawn and garden equipment retailers
- Beer, wine, and liquor stores
- Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores
- Retail located within healthcare facilities
- Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions
- Pet and feed stores
- Printing and office supply stores
- Laundromats and dry cleaners