New Guidelines Outlined for Restaurants, Gatherings in Hampton Roads Region

Governor Ralph Northam has announced new guidelines for restaurants and gatherings in the Hampton Roads area of Eastern Virginia following a surge in coronavirus/COVID-19 cases there, especially in people in their 20s.

The new rules go into effect on Friday, July 31 and include cutting off alcohol sales at 10 pm and requiring all restaurants to close by midnight. Social gatherings will be limited to no more than 50 people. Indoor dining in restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity.

The new guidelines will remain in effect for at least two to three weeks.

Northam says that coronavirus cases and the percent of positive cases has decreased or remains stable in four out of five health regions in the state. However, if cases begin to surge in other areas of Virginia, Northam says he will consider applying the new guidelines to those areas.

The Governor points out that Virginia has avoided the dramatic increase in cases currently being seen in other states and he credits Virginians' actions in keeping with face covering and social distancing guidelines.

Virginia is currently averaging 900-1,000 new coronavirus/COVID-19 cases daily, with about 20,000 tests being conducted daily.

Northam also announced that Virginia will be distributing another $645 million in federal CARES Act funds to state localities to help with rent and food assistance programs, PPE and aid to schools.

More on this story from our media partner, ABC 13 - WSET.