Colonial Williamsburg extends facility closures, makes changes in employee pay due to COVID-19


(Credit – Colonial Williamsburg)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Colonial Williamsburg is expanding operational closures for many of its facilities this weekend to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Colonial Williamsburg first announced the initial shutdown due to the coronavirus in mid-March.

The closure is now extended through April 30, the foundation wrote in a news release Wednesday. Closures will start on March 27.

Changes in pay for Colonial Williamsburg staff are also going to go into effect soon. They include:

  • Employees who make $50,000 or more a year will take pay cuts — higher-paid managers will receive the largest cuts
  • Hourly staff in the Historic Area and Art Museums, operations and related areas will continue to receive full pay and benefits under emergency administrative leave
  • Other foundation staff is teleworking
  • Hospitality staff and many part-time employees will continue to be paid until April 11 — at that point they will be furloughed
  • Colonial Williamsburg will maintain health insurance and other benefits for covered employees and waive April rent for furloughed employees renting their housing

“These are difficult decisions, but based on input from leaders across our organization, our regional partners, and the healthcare community, we are convinced this is the most responsible course of actions,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Merchants Square will remain open with its individual shops and restaurants operating at their own discretion based on state directives. Colonial Williamsburg will waive their rent payments for the month of April.

These closures will affect the following hotels:

  • Williamsburg Inn
  • Griffin Hotel
  • Woodlands Hotel & Suites

The Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection will remain open to help public health officials with emergency needs.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has offered the Governor’s Inn as an emergency housing and care facility, if needed, according to a news release.

“Greater Williamsburg is extremely fortunate to have a partner like Colonial Williamsburg, which has offered facilities for use to solve community issues during the COVID-19 public health emergency,” Williamsburg City Manager Andrew Trivette wrote in a news release. “These facilities may prove to be essential in meeting the needs of the health care community and the city as we combat the effects of COVID-19 regionally.”

Continuing closures at Colonial Williamsburg include:

  • Historic Area interpretive sites and programs
  • The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
  • Restaurants and most other food and beverage locations
  • The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
  • The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center
  • The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library
  • The Custis Square archaeological site
  • Bassett Hall

Several events have also been canceled:

  • The Garden Symposium
  • Mr. Jefferson’s Palace Garden Party
  • The Community Celebration of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Some areas remain open:

  • A limited number of Colonial Houses
  • The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club
  • Open-air tennis facilities
  • Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square
  • Some shops and restaurants

Colonial Williamsburg has also created an “Explore from Home” section on their website. It offers free virtual content, including educational programming and craft videos, according to a news release.

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