WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – As states continue to open in phases, some families may be getting the urge to take a summer vacation. Those working at Colonial Williamsburg say they took the time during the quarantine to make sure families would feel comfortable coming to visit, and enjoy the history they have to offer.
“We’re fortunate to have so much acreage, so we can move a lot of things outside and that’s what you see open right now, predominately outdoor activities,” said Beth Kelly, Vice President of education, research and historical interpretation.
Kelly said when coronavirus forced Colonial Williamsburg to shut down, they planned ahead and made some changes.
Interpreters are now wearing face masks.
“Our interpreters practice with the face masks to make sure they can project eyes are smiling, because so much of what we do is communicating through our faces,” said Kelly.
You may also see interpreters sectioned off so that people can come and ask them questions, but remember to stay socially distant.
Kelly said they moved as much as they could out to the streets, so families and visitors can still experience what their 18th century community is like. “We have outdoor stages where we do theater productions as well as our animals are out on the streets,” she said.
And if you need to take a break and grab some food or drinks, outdoor dining is expanded, with more tables added and spaced 6-feet apart. There are social distancing signs and touchless payment options.
Restrooms have been modified too. “We converted all our public restrooms to touchless, which means we put foot pulls on the doors,” said Vice President of Operations Robert Underwood.
Underwood says Flushometers and fixtures are all automatic.
And if your family is hopping on a bus to get to Colonial Williamsburg, they’ve been cleaned too.
“It’s a fine mist that has a charge on the particle and it attaches to the surfaces and that will disinfect the surfaces. It kills germs within a few seconds and then when it dries it continues to be active,” said Underwood.
Underwood says this type of cleaning will continue to happen to keep cleanliness a top priority and to make visitors feel safe.
Additional Things to Know Before You Go
- Physical Barriers: Colonial Williamsburg has added plexiglass partitions at locations where guests queue to provide an extra level of protection for our guests and staff.
- Capacity: Capacities for indoor spaces, as well as the number of individuals permitted for each tour or program, will be determined based on physical distancing and group size limit protocols.
- Face Coverings: All guests are required to wear face coverings when indoors per Virginia Executive Order 63. The wearing of face coverings outdoors is optional, but recommended. Colonial Williamsburg staff will be wearing them. Face coverings will be available for guests to purchase in all Colonial Williamsburg retail outlets.
- Touchless Ticketing: Colonial Williamsburg is now offering touchless tickets, which can be purchased online and redeemed via cellular device. Additionally, the map and program guide are also available on the Colonial Williamsburg website.
- Guest Parking and Transportation: Guests are encouraged to park at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center and proceed to the footpath connecting the parking area to the Historic Area. Guests physically unable to use the walking path can use the Colonial Williamsburg shuttle bus. New bus procedures will limit the number of passengers per bus to accommodate physical distancing. In accordance with Executive Order 63, face coverings will be required to ride the shuttle bus.
- Visitor Center: Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online and redeem them digitally to limit face-to-face contact. The Visitor Center will be open with reduced capacity to accommodate physical distancing.
If families have questions they can check out colonialwilliamsburg.org to learn more.