Bar Seating Reopened Statewide, Governor Declares

Jake Crocker closed his two Richmond restaurants indefinitely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Caroline Martin

For the first time in more than a year, Virginians are now allowed to sit at bars for service as long as they stay at least six feet apart.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam amended Executive Order 72 on Wednesday without an announcement, making the following policy change for restaurants, breweries, distilleries, wineries and tasting rooms: “Congregating areas of restaurants must be closed to patrons except for through-traffic. Patrons may be seated at the bar for service, provided a minimum of six feet is provided between parties.”

Northam has loosened some restrictions on gatherings in recent weeks — including allowing higher attendance at sporting events and amusement parks, as well as boosting the number of people allowed at private gatherings, up to 100 people at outdoor events, as of April 1.


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