Phase 1 Reopening Starts in Virginia Friday (but not in some Northern Counties)

Date: May 13, 2020

Learn what is required of small businesses

Governor Announces Most of Virginia will Reopen on Friday, May 15

 Wednesday afternoon, Governor Northam announced he feels comfortable moving forward with most of Virginia entering Phase One of reopening Virginia’s economy.  Unfortunately, Governor Northam did grant the request from local governments in Northern Virginia to delay their reopening until May 29, 2020.  The counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg and Vienna will remain in Phase Zero.  You can read Executive Order 62 related to Northern Virginia HERE—Jurisdictions-Temporarily-Delayed-From-Entering-Phase-One-in-Executive-Order-61-and-Permitted-to-Remain-in-Phase-Zero-Northern-Virginia-Region.pdf

Reminder:  You will need to review the full guidelines HERE (.pdf file) or HERE (webpage) to ensure you comply with Phase One guidelines. and

If you are a small business owner located in Northern Virginia or otherwise still closed under Phase One, you are welcome to use our “Action Alert” to the Governor to communicate your concerns with him.  You’ll want to personalize the message with your experience to make it more powerful and noticeable.  Click HERE to voice your concerns with the Governor!

Brief summary of Phase One Guidelines:


  • “Safer at Home” will be the new theme especially for vulnerable populations
  • 10-person limit for all gatherings
  • Social distancing when in public
  • Continue teleworking for all employees who can
  • Face coverings when in public
  • Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Best Practices such as practicing routine cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas and hard surfaces
  • Enhanced Workplace Safety Best Practices such as screening of employees; Instruct employees who are sick to stay at home and not report to work; Post signage in the common languages of the employees telling them not to come to work when sick; Develop or adopt flexible sick leave policies


  • Non-Essential Retail – May open with 50% indoor capacity; Delivery and pick up continues; Employees wear masks
  • Restaurants/Breweries – NO indoor seating; Takeout and delivery continues; Outdoor seating allowed at 50% capacity with required 6 feet social distancing between diners and from sidewalk or any public area; Required to use disposable menus; Employees must wear masks
  • Personal Grooming – Appointment only with strict social distancing requirements (50% capacity); Client and worker must wear face masks; Limits what services that can be done with mask; No lip waxing or beard trims.
  • Childcare – open for working families (same as before)
  • Gyms – NO indoor use; Limited outdoor exercise to 10 participants with 10 feet of distance and sharing guidelines for equipment
  • Entertainment and amusement (bowling alleys, theatres, etc.) – Staying closed
  • Beaches – Only for exercise and fishing
  • Private campgrounds – Open with distance between campsites; No gatherings of 10 or more
  • State Parks – Day use only; No gatherings of 10 or more; Overnight in phases
  • Overnight summer camps – Closed
  • Places of worship – 50% indoor capacity; Drive-in and Online still encouraged



NFIB and Other Resources:

NFIB Webinar “Getting Back to Business: COVID-19 Financial and Workplace Safety Updates“:

CDC: Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes:

CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

CDC Print Resources for Signage (NOTE: there are 3 pages of materials)

EPA-approved disinfectant:



Related Content: Small Business News | Virginia

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