- Posted on: Mar 25 2020
By Wright Lewis
Wright Lewis is a Senior Associate practicing in Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s Tysons, VA Office.
In an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53 which, among other measures, requires certain “non-essential” businesses operating in the Commonwealth to close for 30 days. The Order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. last night, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2020.
All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers markets are required to close their dining and congregation areas; they may, however, continue to offer delivery and takeout.
All recreational and entertainment businesses must close to the public, including theaters, concert venues, gyms, indoor sports facilities, amusement parks, social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement. Any location where personal care or grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart (i.e. beauty salons, barbershops, spas, tattoo shops, etc.) is also required to close.
Certain “essential retail businesses” are expressly permitted to remain open, including:
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
- Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
- Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
- Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
- Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
- Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
- Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
- Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
- Retail located within healthcare facilities;
- Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
- Pet and feed stores;
- Printing and office supply stores; and
- Laundromats and dry cleaners.
Additionally, any retail business not otherwise identified in the Order may remain open but is required to limit in-store shopping to no more than 10 patrons at a time.
Violation of the Order’s closure or in-store patron limits is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The Order mandates that all businesses adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and guidance from state and federal authorities while in operation.
Posted in: Client Alerts