With no set date, large venues in Virginia have a plan in place to reopen: ‘We don’t want to be phase 17’

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Phase 3 of Virginia’s reopening plan starts on July 1, but with the restrictions set forth a lot of different venues still can’t open their doors. 

Sporting events, concert venues, stadiums like the Richmond Raceway in Henrico all still really can’t start bringing people in with the current 1,000 person limit. So, they created a task force of nearly 200 entertainment groups to put together a plan to get people safely in their seats.

“There’s no phase 4 and we don’t want to be phase 17,” RMC President Dan Schmitt told 8News. “And there’s really no group that is used to being around five-to-10-to-20,000 people all at once and ensuring their safety and well being.”

This is why venue leaders met to set forth a plan for their reopening. Schmitt said their top priority is keeping everyone safe, from their staff to the guests. And he says they’ve split it between outdoor and indoor venues knowing not one place is the same as another.

RELATED: Entertainment options open up in Virginia under Phase 3

“But one plan to ensure public health and requirements that all venues must stick to is something our industry is quite ready and prepared to implement,” Schmitt said.

The plan they’re presenting revolves around proper and constant cleaning, social distancing, wearing of masks and even temperature checks. Schmitt says their plan has a timetable set forth on how they can increase the amount of people being brought in gradually, but they do want a target start time.

“We don’t expect the governor to say great, here it is, good luck,” he said. “What we expect is for him to give us a projected runway.”

Schmitt told 8News just cause they open, doesn’t mean people have to go, and, “Our industry is prepared to move forward cautiously, we’re prepared to move forward with the best interest of our guests in hand like we always have. But we just need an opportunity to do so.”

He also noted that like the other mandates their task force believes outdoor venues should come first, followed by a structured plan for indoor. He also says this isn’t just about being able to put on events, but also bringing thousands of people back to work and helping all of Virginia’s tourism.

Schmitt said they’re hoping for a meeting with the Governor Ralph Northam in the next seven to 10 days.

Virginia reopens under Phase 3

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