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COVID-19 Restrictions Eased on Social Gatherings

Man speaking with woman
Gov. Ralph Northam speaks with a woman working at a January mass vaccination event. (Photo: Crixell Matthews)

Gov. Ralph Northam is reducing some of the restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Starting May 15, indoor social gatherings can include up to 100 people, while outdoor gatherings can have up to 250 people. Social gatherings are currently limited to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

In a video released Thursday, Northam credited a strong vaccine rollout for allowing the changes.

“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Northam said. “Vaccination numbers are up, and our COVID case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year.”

Northam is also allowing restaurants to sell alcohol after midnight.

Entertainment venues and sporting events will be allowed to host up to 50% of their capacity, with a maximum of 250 people at indoor sporting events. Outdoor sporting and indoor entertainment event attendance will be capped at 1,000, with no attendance caps on outdoor entertainment.

Northam said he’s “optimistic” that attendance limits will be eased even more in June as vaccination continues. According to data from the Virginia Department of Health, more than 26% of Virginians have been fully vaccinated, and 41% have received at least one dose.