COVID-19 case rates are falling, so Virginia residents can start to ease up a bit.

After months of tight restrictions and strict health and safety guidelines, Virginians will start to see some changes in their social lives. Governor Northam just signed an executive order which has somewhat loosened the rules for social gatherings and entertainment venue capacity rates all over the state.

"As key health metrics show encouraging trends and we continue to ramp up our vaccination efforts, we can begin to gradually resume certain recreational activities and further reopen sectors of our economy. Even as we take steps to safely ease public health guidelines, we must all remain vigilant so we can maintain our progress—the more we stay home, mask up, and practice social distancing, the more lives we will save from this dangerous virus," said Governor Ralph Northam.

Effective March 1, you may notice the following changes:

  • Up to 25 people are allowed at social gatherings (up from a previous maximum of 10 people).
  • The sale and consumption of alcohol can go until midnight, instead of 10 p.m.
  • Outdoor entertainment venues can admit up to 30 percent capacity or 1,000 people, while indoor entertainment venues are increasing to 30 percent capacity or 250 people. In both cases, whichever number is less will apply.
  • Parents can start to register children for overnight camps which will reopen in May 2021.

For more information, you can click here to read the full press release on the executive order. You can also follow along with the governor's Twitter account for the latest updates and press conference videos.

What are your thoughts on these latest changes with the statewide restrictions? Sound off in the comments.