VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Charter fishermen in Virginia are able to head out to sea again starting next Friday, May 15.

However, there are some restrictions.

According to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, some of the rules include screening employees prior to starting their shift, a COVID-19 pre-screen of customers, and 6 feet of boat space per passenger.

The charter vessels are able to start back up as part of the phase 1 reopening in Virginia, a VMRC spokeswoman said.

Captain Bill Pappas is the owner and founder of Playin Hookey Charters in Virginia Beach.

10 On Your Side spoke to him about his concerns before this update was announced.

He says for many of the boat captains or workers make the bulk of their money in the four-month period over the summer.

“Charter fishing is really vital to this area. You know we provide people in hotels, we provide lots of people at restaurants, we provide lots of fish for coolers, and lots of meals for families local and abroad. I mean, we are a big part of the Virginia Beach tourism machine. I mean, the Rudy Inlet is one of the top inlets up on the East Coast,” said Pappas.

For more information on the charter vessel restrictions, click here.

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