Ralph Northam
**FILE** Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) attends a rally for Virginia State Senator and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D) at the Wexton campaign headquarters on October 30, 2018 in Sterling, Virginia. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Starting Monday, food-service businesses in Virginia will be able to sell alcohol until midnight, part of an order by Gov. Ralph Northam to loosen the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions amid declining cases and mass vaccinations efforts.

Northam’s order, issued last week, includes restaurants and breweries. Before Monday, alcohol sales in the state were prohibited after 10 p.m.

Additionally, the Democratic governor announced the capacity level of some entertainment establishments will be expanded to 1,000 patrons or 30% capacity, whichever is lower.

The midnight-5 a.m. curfew has also been dropped.

Northam thanked Virginians for their efforts in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of all Virginians, hospitalizations and positivity rates across the commonwealth are the lowest they have been in nearly three months,” the governor said in a statement Wednesday announcing the order. “As key health metrics show encouraging trends and we continue to ramp up our vaccinations efforts, we can begin to gradually resume certain recreational activities and further reopen sectors of our economy.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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