Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On April 22, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that sports and entertainment venues in Virginia may begin to operate with expanded capacity, and social gathering limits beginning Saturday, May 15. He amended Executive Order Seventy-Two with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus. The announcement comes as vaccinations continue to rise in the Commonwealth, and more than half of all adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Governor Northam said. “Vaccination numbers are up, and our COVID-19 case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year. So, we have been able to begin easing some mitigation measures. We took a few more targeted steps this week, and we will do more next month.”
“I’m optimistic that we will be able to take more steps in June. We are working to significantly ramp up vaccinations even further and aim to reduce capacity limits in June, hopefully, all the way. But some things need to continue—we all need to keep wearing masks, social distancing, and encouraging each other to get a shot. It’s how we take care of one another.”
- Social Gatherings: Starting May 15, 2021, the maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
- Entertainment venues: Starting May 15, 2021, indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, up from 30 percent capacity or 500 people. Outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity—up from 30 percent—with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
- Recreational Sporting Events: Starting May 15, 2021, the number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events will increase from 100 to 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor recreational sporting events will increase from 500 to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less.
- Alcohol sales: Restaurants may return to selling alcohol after midnight, and dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5 a.m.
Guests to Virginia are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or to quarantine during their visits.
- On-Site Airport COVID-19 Testing: The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is now offering on-site COVID-19 testing to travelers through XpresCheck at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Dulles International Airport (IAD). These pre-security testing facilities are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Testing options include a rapid test, with results available in as soon as 30 minutes, and a PCR test, with results available in one to three days. For additional information, pricing or appointments, visit XpresCheck.com and select "Virginia - DCA" or "Virginia - IAD.
- Arlington Health & Safety: Learn about the many ways Arlington and its businesses are addressing Health & Safety during your stay, and what to expect while you’re here.
Updated April 23, 2021