Northam Announces Additional New Restrictions on Commonwealth

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Virginians required to wear masks in all indoor and outdoor settings, stay at home from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m., social gatherings limited to 10 

Governor Ralph Northam has announced another Executive Order (#72) that makes it mandatory for Virginians to stay at home between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., implements a universal mask requirement (even in one’s own household), and lowers the limit on any social gathering from 25 people to 10 people.

The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14 and remain in place through January 31, 2021, unless it is rescinded or amended.

“While the trends in Virginia are better than most of the country, we are taking action now to slow the spread of this virus before our hospitals get overwhelmed,” said Governor Northam. “If you don’t have to be out, stay at home. Whenever we are around other people, we all need to wear a mask, indoors and out.”

Northam’s new order stipulates the following:

Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.

Universal Mask Requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person.

Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.

Continued Limits on Dining Establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.

Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

While Virginia’s new cases per capita remain lower than 43 other states, parts of the state are experiencing an increase from 7 percent approximately one month ago. According to reports about 2,000 Virginians (out of 8.6 Million residents) are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 statewide.

The full text of Executive Order Seventy-Two, which incorporates earlier Executive Orders Sixty-Three Sixty-Seven is available here.

For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus..