May 27, 2020

Governor Ralph Northam said Wednesday that he has given the green light for the last areas of the state to move into his phase 1 reopening plan.  Accomack County remained locked down for the last two weeks after the Board of Supervisors voted to extend the lockdown in an effort to gather more data.

Under Phase One, the Commonwealth will move to a Safer at Home strategy, which continues the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people and maintains recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and wearing face coverings. All businesses should make modifications to maintain six feet of physical distancing, increase cleaning and sanitization of high contact surfaces, and provide enhanced workplace safety measures.

Retail establishments will be allowed to operate at 50 percent occupancy, restaurant and beverage establishments may offer outdoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, personal grooming services may begin operating with one patron per service provider, and fitness centers may offer outdoor exercise services. Campgrounds may also begin taking reservations for short-term stays.

Places of worship have had a 10-person limit and have been allowed to hold drive-in services allowed. In Phase One, drive-in services may continue, and services may be held inside at 50 percent capacity. Specific guidelines for religious services can be found here.

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Many of the restrictions put in place by Executive Order Fifty-Three will remain in place in Phase One. Entertainment and public amusement venues will remain closed and  some beaches will continue to be open only for exercise and fishing. Childcare centers remain open for children of working families. Overnight summer camps will remain closed in Phase One.

But Governor Northam has already allowed Virginia Beach to open and has said he is looking at opening more beaches in Hampton Roads.  No mention was made of the Cape Charles beach.  Even though the Cape Charles Police Department is quite capable of policing the beach, Cape Charles was not included in the Memorial Day weekend beach openings. Unless something changes Cape Charles will be open to fishing and exercise only.





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