Northern Virginia to Enter Phase One of Reopening on May 29


Photo by: Abby Detorie

Dulles Mall during the stay-at-home order

Changes to expect in NOVA community as Virginia Governor announces plans to ease Coronavirus restrictions

Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, announced on May 12 that plans to reopen Northern Virginia will be delayed two weeks, while the rest of the state entered phase one as scheduled on May 15. Nearly three quarters of the COVID-19 cases confirmed in Virginia are present in the northernmost counties, sparking the decision to split the state in two. 

The most significant contrast between the lockdown and phase one measures is the impact on businesses in the area. Phase one allows most non essential businesses to open, with regulations on capacity and sanitation. Physical distancing between employees and shoppers must remain in effect, with heightened sanitation and the continuous recommendation of protective equipment in public (

Salons may open by appointment only with protective equipment. Non essential retail stores, restaurants with outdoor seating permits, and places of worship will all be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. Indoor gyms, Movie theaters, schools, and amusement parks will remain closed through the first phase. (, ABC News)

Teleworking will continue to be encouraged wherever possible. 

There will not be a considerable change in social distancing measures as Northern Virginia begins to reopen. Social distancing measures and personal protective equipment will remain strongly encouraged, and social gatherings will continue to be restricted to less than ten people. 

While Northern Virginia may be easing up on restrictions, they are still pushing the message to stay home. Phase one is set to last a minimum of two to four weeks before, depending on trends in cases throughout the state.

On May 26, Northam announced facemasks are mandatory during Phase 1, with some restrictions for eating, drinking, exercise and children under 10 years old.

If you are looking to learn more about local and Statewide reopening procedures and regulations, please visit: