LEAD NEWS: Next week is Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week
VRLTA and Virginia Tourism Corporation have teamed up to create and promote Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week, which will be March 30 to April 5 - next week!

The effort will encourage Virginians who are able to participate in the takeout challenge by ordering takeout, delivery, or curbside pickup from area restaurants throughout the week. 
VTC and VRLTA will also partner with destinations across the state to help encourage the support of local restaurants across the Commonwealth. Participating partners and consumers should use the hashtag #VirginiaEatsLocal when posting on social media. 
Virginia Tourism will also sell limited edition “Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers” t-shirts , with a portion of the proceeds donated to local relief efforts for food service workers in crisis.

Offering takeout already? Thinking about it? Here are some resources to help!

More information and resources will follow by the end of the week!
U.S. Department of Labor Guidance Regarding Families First Coronavirus Response Act
As expected, the U.S. Department of Labor just issued some preliminary guidance, in the form of Questions and Answers, and fact sheets in advance of the implementing regulations on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) a/k/a COVID-2, which takes effect April 1. To access please click on the link below. The Department advises that they will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA, and we will be sure to keep you updated as that information is made available.

You can also view the news release here.

The fact sheet can be found here .

Also, the Department is hosting a creative opportunity for public input via a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees an innovative way to offer their perspective as the Department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of FFCRA. The ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches, that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. The deadline for input is March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com now through March 29, 2020

In addition, the National Restaurant Association conducted a webinar with employment experts on the COVID-19 Paid Leave legislation. You can view that webinar here .
COVID-19 Impact on Restaurants Survey
The National Restaurant Association is gathering information on the economic impact that COVID-19 is having on Virginia restaurants. Please complete the questionnaire to help us better communicate this information to our legislators:

ServSafe offering free COVID-19 training

As the industry faces the ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association remain dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. Food safety training and education are more critical now than ever before.

With this in mind, ServSafe will be releasing two free new training videos to reinforce safe food handling during the coronavirus outbreak:

In addition, to support restaurant workers on the front line, ServSafe is making its standard, ANSI accredited, online  ServSafe Food Handler  training program available free of charge through April. 
Help Us Stop Misinformation

There is a lot of misinformation, rumor and conspiracy theory flying around right now. It’s incumbent upon all of us to avoid spreading rumors that could further sow doubt during the COVID-19 crisis. VRLTA is working with our elected officials and government agencies to address any questions as they arise during this challenging time.

We encourage you to always ask the source of any rumors, and if that source is credible. Finally, please don’t spread any rumors or conspiracies you may hear. Instead, please contact us and we will let you know what we have heard on the topic. 

Continue to visit https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com for more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. We are working to add additional resources, links, and news articles as they become available.