Virginia Governor Again Tightens Guidelines – Gatherings Limited to 10
Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14, 2020, stricter COVID guidelines will take effect in Virginia. The new Executive Order is in response to escalating COVID19 positivity rates and hospitalizations, both in the Commonwealth and around the nation. The new Executive Order is in effect until January 31, 2021 and can be found at this link:
- Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, exercising, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
- Universal face covering requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This includes condominium and HOA common areas. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings. The face covering requirements may be enforced by the Virginia Dept of Health and is also considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor. There are certain exceptions, including eating, drinking, exercising or for certain health issues.
- Limit of 10 for in-person gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This restriction arguably applies to community association board and membership meetings as well as other community events. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings, provided certain standards are met.
- Fitness & Exercise Facilities may continue to operate, subject to the sector-specific requirements previously adopted, including patrons remaining at least 10 feet apart and 75% occupancy limits.
- Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
- Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.
Federal, state and local responses to COVID-19 are changing quickly. We encourage associations to monitor relevant government websites and this page for further updates.
Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific facts and circumstances of each case and each association’s governing documents. Also, it is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of all legal considerations, nor should it be used to replace the individualized advice of your legal counsel.