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Richmond enters Phase Two: What that means for restaurants, churches, pools, and salons

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 23:48:42-04

RICHMOND Va. -- The City of Richmond will enter Phase Two of COVID-19 reopening on Friday, June 12, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. The counties surrounding Richmond have previously entered Phase Two.

“Given the data landscape, the governor’s requirement that all Virginians wear face coverings and my trust in the Richmond community to look out for each other, I’m comfortable with our city entering Phase Two of Forward Virginia,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement released following the announcement. “However, we cannot forget that beating this disease for good will require avid community testing, contact tracing, and stable isolation for COVID-19 positive patients.”

City leaders asked Richmonders to follow these guidelines during Phase Two:

  • Continue to wear face masks.
  • Keep six feet of distance from anyone outside your household.
  • Avoid visits or social gatherings, especially with individuals who are at higher risk.
  • Continue to wash or sanitize your hands frequently, but especially after leaving a public place or before adjusting or removing your mask.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and call your primary care provider to discuss testing opportunities,
  • Social gatherings are limited to 50 people or 50 percent capacity of the event space, whichever is less.

Here is a look at what Phase Two means for churches, restaurants, gyms, salons, and other businesses:

Restaurant and beverage services:

Occupancy in the establishment is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy. Bar seating and congregate areas of the establishment must be closed.

Tables must be at least six feet apart to allow for adequate social distancing. If tables are immovable, then parties must be seated at least six feet apart.

All establishments should use single-use menus.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Non-essential brick and mortar:

Non-essential brick and mortar retailers must limit occupancy to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Retailers must also encourage and assist in customers keeping six feet of distance while shopping and standing in line.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Fitness and exercise facilities:

Occupancy is limited to no more than 30 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Patrons should keep 10 feet of distance between each other. To facilitate this, business owners must place exercise equipment at least 10 feet apart.

Before allowing patrons to enter, fitness facility staff should screen them for symptoms of COVID-19, asking if they are experiencing a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, chills, a sore throat, or muscle aches unaffiliated with another health condition. Anyone experiencing symptoms should not be permitted to use the facility. The state notes that these screenings should be conducted in accordance with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.

Basketball and racquetball courts may be used as long as patrons maintain ten feet of social distance throughout use if they are not from the same household.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools:

Swimming pools may be open only for lap swimming, diving, exercise, and instruction. Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features must be closed.

Lap swimmers and divers are to be held to the same standard of ten feet of distance as in exercise facilities.

Seating on pool decks must be at least ten feet apart.

As in exercise facilities, before allowing patrons to enter, pool staff should screen them for symptoms of COVID-19, asking if they are experiencing a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, chills, a sore throat, or muscle aches unaffiliated with another health condition. Anyone experiencing symptoms should not be permitted to use the pool. The state notes that these screenings should be conducted in accordance with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Personal care and personal grooming services:

Service should still be offered by appointment only, with a maximum of two appointments occurring in one facility at a time.

Occupancy is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Work stations must be at least six feet apart, and clients must wear face coverings during the entirety of the service.

Employers must maintain a list of the names and contact information for all clients, to include the date and time of the appointment, to aid in contact tracing efforts.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Entertainment and public amusement:

The following entertainment venues must still be closed in Phase Two: indoor theaters, indoor performing arts centers, indoor concert venues, indoor sports venues, horse racing facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, carnivals, arts and craft facilities, escape rooms, trampoline parks and anything not explicitly approved by the state.

Phase Two allows for outdoor performing arts venues, outdoor concert venues, outdoor movie theaters, drive-in entertainment, outdoor sport venues, museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos and public or private social clubs to open with restrictions.

Facilities that are permitted to and wish to open must create guest flow plan identifies potential areas of crowding and adjust layout inside and outside the facility accordingly.

Any on site retail, food or drink services, or fitness facilities must abide by the state requirements specific to those classifications of establishment.

Additional mandatory requirements for specific venue types are provided in this document.

Religious services:

Occupancy is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room in which services are conducted.

Individuals not from the same household must be seated six feet away from each other. Acceptable seating distance should be marked.

Nothing should be passed around the gathering, and any items used to distribute food or drink must be single-use and immediately discarded.

Places of worship are still encouraged to continue meeting virtually, if possible, to protect congregants.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.