Virginia Governor Further Loosens Phase 3 Restrictions – effective April 1
As vaccinations become more prevalent among Virginians and infection rates decrease, the Governor has again loosened restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic, this time through the 4th Amendment to Executive Order 72.
The full text of EO72 (as amended) can be found here and takes effect April 1, 2021. Here is a summary of the provisions of EO72 of most concern to community associations.
- Gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a gathering will increase to 50 people for indoor settings and 100 people for outdoor settings. Gatherings are currently limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. A “gathering” includes, but is not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, whether they occur indoors or outdoors.
- Fitness Facilities: Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, sports facilities, and exercise facilities may continue to operate indoor and outdoor activities, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for fitness and exercise facilities. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
- Patrons, members, and guests who are not Family members must remain at least ten feet apart during all activities except where necessary for the physical safety of an individual.
- Occupancy must be limited to 75 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.
- The total number of attendees (including both participants and instructors) in all indoor group exercise and fitness classes cannot exceed the lesser of 75 percent of the minimum occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy or 50 persons. For all group exercise and fitness classes held outdoors, the total number of attendees cannot exceed 100 persons.
- Patrons must wear masks over their nose and mouth (according to section II of EO72).
- For outdoor facilities, masks are required if patron unable to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from other individuals not family members.
- Cleaning and disinfection of shared exercise equipment must be carried out after each use.
- Pools: Outdoor and indoor swimming pools may be open, provided occupancy is limited to no more than 75 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy and all swimmers maintain at least ten feet of physical distance from others who are not Family members.
- Employees must wear masks over their nose and mouth while working at their place of employment. Lifeguards responding to distressed swimmers are exempt from this requirement.
- Patrons must wear masks over their nose and mouth. If outdoors, masks are required if patron unable to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from other individuals not family members.
- Operator must promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing employees, customers, visitors, the general public, and other persons entering into the place of employment with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers.
Please note that Virginia’s current face covering (mask) requirements applicable indoors and, in some cases, outdoors, remains in effect. In addition, some localities may still have their own mask requirements, such as the City of Alexandria.
Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.
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.