This Friday, Northern Virginia and Richmond will join the rest of the state in launching Phase Two of reopening businesses and recreational facilities. 

After months of closures in Phase Zero and Phase One, businesses in Northern Virginia and Richmond will be able to reopen in a limited capacity. Governor Northam announced the news in a Tuesday press conference.

One of the biggest changes that comes about with Phase Two is that social gatherings can now go from a maximum of 10 people to 50. In business settings, customers should maintain social distancing guidelines of staying at least 6 feet apart.

Restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining options to a capacity of no more than 50 percent of their original seating plan. Both indoor and outdoor pools can reopen for recreational swimming and lessons, while businesses like movie theaters and amusement parks must remain closed. You can read more about Phase Two guidelines here.

restaurant, face masks

Courtesy of Mayor Levar Stoney

Throughout the state, the mandatory mask rule will remain in effect until at least September 8, unless rescinded by an executive order. Keep a face covering with you if you leave the house and be prepared to put it on when entering any sort of business.

For more information, read the full Executive Order about the phased reopening strategy in Virginia here.

What are your thoughts on Northern Virginia and Richmond entering Phase Two? Are they ready, or is it too early? Sound off in the comments!