More people will be able to gather in one location starting next month.
On May 15, limits on social gatherings in Virginia are expected to rise, according to a release from the Office of the Governor. Capacity for sporting events and entertainment venues could go up, as well.
Governor Ralph Northam announced the update – which is based on an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations – in a video message that can be viewed on YouTube.
For indoor events, the social gathering limit will grow from 50 to 100 participants. It will expand from 100 to 250 people for outdoor gatherings.
Indoor entertainment venues can be at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 individuals. This is increasing from 30 percent capacity or 500 attendees. Venues located outside may also run at 50 percent capacity.
The maximum number of spectators permitted at sporting events is rising, as well. It will go up from 100 to 250 people or 50 percent capacity – whichever is less – at indoor recreational activities. Outdoor sports can have up to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity.
Restaurants will also be allowed to sell alcohol after midnight and dining rooms won’t need to be closed from midnight to 5 a.m.
So far, the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to more than 3.5 million individuals.
“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Northam said in a release. “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.”
The governor also added that the public must continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and encouraging others to receive the vaccine.
Virginia has entered Phase 2 for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those at least 16 years old can receive the dose.
To set up a vaccine appointment, go to the Vaccinate Virginia website or call 877-829-4682 (7-1-1 for TTY device users).