Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Courtesy of the governor's office)
**FILE** Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Courtesy of the governor's office)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state’s coronavirus restrictions will loosen on beginning May 15.

Sports and entertainment venues will be able to increase their capacity, and social gatherings limits will increase, the Democratic governor announced Thursday.

“It’s good news that half of adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Northam said in a news release, InsideNoVa reported. “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 will do more next month.”

Northam said restrictions could ease further in June.

The mandates that will take effect May 15 include:

– Social gatherings: Maximum number of people allowed in a social gathering will increase to 100 for indoor settings and 250 for outdoor settings.
– Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues can operate at 50% capacity or 1,000 people and outdoor venues can function at 50% capacity with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
– Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events increases from 100 to 250 or 50%, whichever is less. The allowed capacity for outdoor recreational sporting events increases from 500 to 1,000 or 50% capacity, whichever is fewer.
– 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.

Despite easing restrictions, Northam said mandates for mask-wearing and social distancing will remain, InsideNoVa reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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