Remember restaurants, those places where you can sit down, order food and not have to do the dishes after? Neither do we … Just kidding! From burgers to dim sum, it’s practically all we think about.
And a return to our favorite places is finally on the horizon. Gov. Ralph Northam extended his order to keep Northern Virginia businesses closed until at least midnight on Thursday, May 28 earlier this month, when he also announced the reopening of the rest of the state. That’s because Northern Virginia’s COVID-19 infection and death rates hadn’t yet leveled off the way they had in the rest of Virgina. In fact, according to the governor’s office, roughly 70% of the state’s cases of the coronavirus were in Northern Virginia.
According to an analysis of government date by The Washington Post, our region averaged almost twice as many COVID-19 deaths than the rest of the state as recently as last week. But today, May 26, he announced that he will allow Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Loudoun counties, and the city of Alexandria, to begin phase one of reopening on Friday.
But don’t get too excited: You won’t be eating indoors for a while. Phase one of Gov. Northam’s plan for the reopening of restaurants (as well as food trucks, food courts, wineries and breweries, among other businesses) says clearly that restaurants that decide to offer more than delivery and takeout “may only do so in outdoor spaces.” So, if your favorite restaurant doesn’t offer outdoor seating, you’ll still have to wait to dine in.
For restaurants that do open, they must adhere to 15 rules outlined as mandatory requirements for outdoor service, including disposable menus, occupancy of no more than 50% and at least 6 feet between tables. There will be no self-serve condiments and game areas, dance floors and playgrounds cannot be open.
We hope this made the rules clearer for you. And keep in mind, wherever you decide to dine, don’t forget your mask.
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