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Reminder: Next Phase of Reopening Starts Tomorrow but Indoor Mask Requirement Still In Effect

(Updated 12:50 p.m.) Tomorrow, Alexandria will move into Phase 3 of reopening, but there are still several restrictions in place and Alexandrians are urged to stay home if they can.

Before Alexandrians rush out to resume indoor activities in local businesses, a city press release noted that the governor’s order mandating wearing a mask while indoors is still in effect.

“Residents are reminded that Executive Order 63 directs all Virginians to wear a face-covering when indoors in public buildings,” the city said.

According to the order, everyone ten and over is required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when entering, exiting, traveling through or spending time in indoor public spaces. The order specifically notes the requirement for:

  • Personal grooming businesses
  • Retail
  • Entertainment venues
  • Food and beverage establishments like restaurants and breweries
  • Transportation hubs, like train stations or bus stations
  • State of local government buildings

Retail employees are also required to wear masks in the customer-facing areas of the store.

There are exceptions to the requirement. Masks do not have to be worn while:

  • While eating or drinking
  • Exercising or using exercise equipment
  • If you have trouble breathing
  • Any person seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired and for which the mouth needs to be visible
  • When necessary to secure medical services
  • Or if you have health conditions that prohibit wearing a face covering

The order is stated to be in effect until otherwise amended.

The third phase of reopening also loosens but does not eliminate restrictions on gathering sizes and capacity of some local establishments.

Phase 3 will:

  • Allow social gatherings with groups of up to 250
  • Lift capacity restrictions on non-essential retail stores and restaurants, though there must be six feet of separation between customers
  • Allow fitness centers and pools to open at 75% capacity
  • Allow entertainment venues to open at 50% capacity
  • Allow barbershops and salons to serve customers without an appointment

Staff photo by Vernon Miles

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