Hannah Eason, News Editor
Andrew Ringle, Managing Editor
Many businesses considered to be non-essential will close statewide for the next month under orders from Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday.
Rules went into effect Tuesday at midnight and remain in effect until April 23. Businesses deemed essential, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are allowed to remain open while maintaining social distancing requirements and sanitation, according to a release from Northam’s office.
Essential businesses that will remain open with some limitations:
- Food and alcohol services: Dining areas must be closed to the public but food servers can deliver food and provide takeout. This includes breweries, dining establishments, distilleries, farmers markets, food courts, restaurants and wineries. Liquor stores will remain open.
- Retailers: convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, medical supply retailers and office supply stores
- Other services: automotive parts stores and repair shops, banks, electronic retailers and servicers, laundromats and dry cleaners, and pet and animal feed stores
Recreation and entertainment centers are among businesses considered “non-essential” and were required to close Tuesday by midnight. The following locations were included in the release:
- Amusement: bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and crafts facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, and public and private social clubs
- Entertainment: theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues and museums
- Personal care and grooming services: beauty salons, barber shops, spas, tanning salons and tattoo shops
- Recreational: indoor shooting ranges, fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, and indoor sports and exercise centers
Brick-and-mortar businesses that are not listed above cannot serve more than 10 patrons at a time and must follow sanitation protocols. The order states that any business that cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit or social distancing guidelines must close.
The provisions were part of Northam’s executive order, which closed public and private schools in Virginia for the remainder of the year. The order also banned gatherings of more than 10 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.