Northam prohibits congregating in bars, stresses caution ahead of phase 3


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Ralph Northam announced that bar seating will remain prohibited in restaurants as Virginia moves into phase 3 at midnight Tuesday

To reduce the likelihood of patrons gathering in bar areas without observing social distancing guidelines, bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed except for those passing through.

Restaurants may use non-bar seating in the bar area, as long as a minimum of six feet between tables is provided.

In phase 3, Virginians are still required to wear a face-covering in indoor public spaces, but that doesn’t include during eating and drinking, meaning in closed indoor spaces, in particular, the virus has the potential to spread easily. Not to mention there are still many Virginians who are opting to forgo face coverings altogether, despite state guidance.

The Governor says he is taking a cautious approach into phase 3.

In Virginia, hospitalization rates have fallen and the percentage of positive tests continues to trend downward, Northam says he wants these trends to continue.

“If our public health metrics begin moving in the wrong direction, I will not hesitate to take action to protect the health and safety of our communities.”

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