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Reopening Virginia

Get safely back to business using checklists based on Virginia’s reopening guidelines

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Published August 3rd, 2020

Reopening Virginia in the Time of COVID-19

Reopening Virginia from a statewide “Stay at Home” order is a massive effort being led by Gov. Ralph Northam together with over 8 million Virginians. While most of Virginia remains in Phase 1 of their reopening guidelines, Forward Virginia, some counties will enter into Phase 2, where indoor fitness and exercise facilities and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues can operate at a certain capacity and recreational sports is allowed under certain conditions.

This article will briefly answer the following questions:

  • What are Virginia’s reopening guidelines?
  • What is the Virginia reopening phases?
  • Why are reopening checks important for Virginia-based businesses?
  • What checklists can be used to reopen Virginia safely?

Virginia Reopening Guidelines: Forward Virginia

“Forward Virginia” is the Commonwealth’s plan to reopen their economy, easing certain temporary business restrictions due to COVID-19. In building the need to adhere to reopening guidelines, Gov. Northam said, “We cannot race back to the lives we led before the pandemic. The path forward will not be business as usual.” Forward Virginia Phase One Guidelines generally look like:

Virginia Reopening Phases

While the Northern Virginia Region and the city of Richmond remain in Phase 1 of reopening, most of Virginia will move into Phase 2 of reopening on June 4. To have a clearer picture of the difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of reopening Virginia, refer to the table below:

Reopening Virginia: From Phase 1 to Phase 2


Phase One

Phase Two

Social Gatherings

10-person limit implementing best practices

50% capacity of the venue or 50-person limit (whichever is less) implementing best practices

Restaurant and Beverage Services

Takeout and Delivery

50% capacity (outdoor seating only) implementing mandatory Phase 1 reopening guidelines

50% capacity (indoor and outdoor seating) implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines

Personal Care and Grooming Services

By appointment only with strict physical distancing and required face coverings

50% capacity implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines and best practices

Fitness and Exercise Facilities

Outdoor fitness classes only

30% indoor capacity implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines and best practices

Recreational Sports


50-person limit for participants and spectators or 50% capacity of the outdoor venue and 30% capacity of the indoor venue (whichever is less) implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines and best practices

Incidental contact between family members is allowed, but close contact with other athletes is prohibited.

Campgrounds and Overnight Summer Camps


50-person limit implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines and best practices

Entertainment and Public Amusement Venues


50-person limit or 50% capacity (whichever is less) of outdoor movie theaters, performing arts, concert, and sports venues, museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos, and public and private social clubs implementing mandatory Phase 2 reopening guidelines and best practices

Places of Worship

50% indoor capacity implementing mandatory guidelines and best practices

Reopening Virginia Safely Through Self-assessments

Restrictions or policies are being modified according to the number of cases per county. Whatever phase a region, county, or city is currently in, all business sectors should adhere to Virginia’s reopening guidelines. COVID-19 risk assessments or phase-specific reopening readiness assessments with round-the-clock health and safety inspections can help Virginian employers reopen strong and safely continue business operations amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Elements of Virginia Reopening Checklists

A Virginia reopening checklist is a tool based on Forward Virginia’s mandatory requirements, best practices, and additional considerations to safely reopen businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. It aims to encourage Virginians to keep practicing personal hygiene and physical distancing when at work, slowing the spread of coronavirus and lowering transmission rates in the workplace. Virginia reopening checklists for all businesses usually includes:

    • Physical Distancing Best Practices
    • Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Best Practices
    • Enhanced Workplace Safety Best Practices

To make it easier for Virginians to get safely back to business and continue safe operations amidst a global pandemic, we’ve surfaced these statewide guidelines-based reopening checklists you can download for free and use with iAuditor by SafetyCulture.


Disclaimer: Please note that these checklists are hypothetical examples and provide basic information only. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.


Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.