Essential vs. non-essential: What's closed in Virginia?

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 07:38:47-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered all Virginia schools and non-essential businesses closed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I know the next several weeks will be difficult," he said. "These restrictions on non-essential businesses will create hardships on the businesses and employees affected. But they are necessary, and we do not undertake them lightly. I am calling on Virginians to sacrifice now, so that we can get through this together."

The following recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

Performing arts centers
Concert venues
Other indoor entertainment centers;
Fitness centers
Recreation centers
Indoor sports facilities
Indoor exercise facilities
Beauty salons
Barber shops
Massage parlors
Tanning salons
Tattoo shops
Any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
Historic horse racing facilities
Bowling alleys
Skating rinks
Amusement parks
Trampoline parks
Arts and craft facilities
Escape rooms
Indoor shooting ranges
Public and private social clubs
All other places of indoor public amusement

Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments

All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.

Establishments include:

  • Restaurants;
  • Dining establishments;
  • Food courts;
  • Farmers markets;
  • Breweries;
  • Microbreweries;
  • Distilleries;
  • Wineries; and
  • Tasting rooms.

On the farm with Libby Lewis

Retail Businesses

The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:

  • 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 stores and feed stores;
  • Printing and office supply stores; and
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.

"All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities," the governor's office announced. "Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities."