Local restaurants and bars have been looking forward to today as Loudoun County and the entire state of Virginia reach Phase 3 of the coronavirus re-opening process. But then Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam made a game-time decision and decided to keep tighter rules for the bars.
Starting today, a bunch of restrictions on businesses and other gathering places are eased, including allowing restaurants to increase the number of people they serve inside. But after seeing coronavirus outbreaks in other states linked to crowds at bars, Northam decided to keep them closed a little longer. Seating at high-top tables for food service in bar areas is OK, but sitting at or hanging out around the bar itself is not allowed.
Here are a couple of charts that show the new Phase 3 policies in comparison to the previous Phase 2 restrictions. (Note: there are some slight discrepancies between the two charts — one is specific to Loudoun County, the other comes from the state.)