Gov. Northam relaxes some public gathering restrictions

The capacity increases are effective May 15 and the governor says he hopes to remove all capacity limits in June
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Video message from Gov. Ralph Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Friday announced relaxation, effective May 15, of some restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including ones that could help the entertainment venues that have been hobbled by more than a year.

Indoor entertainment venues will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity or 1,000 people, an increase from 30% or 500 and outdoor ones will be allowed to operate at 50% or no cap, an increase from 30%,

Social gatherings like weddings can have 100 attendees indoors and 250 outdoors.

Outdoor sporting events will be 50% with a cap of 1,000,

Restaurants will be allowed to serve alohol until 2 am. and dining rooms can stay open after midnight.

Masks and social distancing requirements, however, remain in place.

Northam says hopes to lift all capacity limit by June if COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase.

“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” the governor said in an online video Friday. “Im optimistic that we will be able to take more steps in June. We’re aiming to significantly ramp up vaccinations even further, and aim to reduce capacity limits in June, hopefully all the way.”