LEAD NEWS: Governor Northam orders "Stay at Home" Order

Earlier today, Governor Northam ordered Virginians to 'stay at home' in response to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth. State residents will be able to leave their homes for services deemed essential such as seeking medical attention, buying groceries, banking, and more. In addition, he is asking anyone who can work from home to do so.

The Executive Order also all Virginia colleges to suspend in-person classes, closes private campgrounds for short-term stays of less than 14 days, and closes beaches except for fishing and exercise. State parks remain open for day-use only. Earlier guidance prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people and recommendations to stay 6 feet apart remain in effect.

Restaurants may remain open for takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery on ly. It also appears that there have not been any changes that will impact hotels at this time.

The order will be in effect until June 10, unless updated or rescinded before then. Those not in compliance can be criminally charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

President Trump has also extended the federal recommendation for social distancing to April 30.
VRLTA Call Scheduled for TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 31 at 4:00 p.m.

Join us tomorrow, 3/31 for an update call at 4:00 pm

Dial in information: 202.602.1295, conference ID 789-103-256#

COVID-19 Federal Sick Leave Guidance
The U.S. Department of Labor published another round of guidance to its growing questions and answers  list. We encourage you to check out this resource to help you better understand how to comply as the regulations are promulgated.
VRLTA Launches Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, through its 501c3 foundation (Virginia Restaurant Lodging & Travel Association Educational Foundation/VRLTAEF) has formed a new industry relief fund to aid workers displaced by the recent restaurant and hospitality industry shutdowns. 
The Virginia Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund will be providing direct cash support to workers that have been laid off due to the recent COVID19-related business downturn in Virginia. The VRLTAEF will be funding the new trust with donations from individual donors and grants from local private foundations and corporate partners. VRLTA has also partnered with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to create a  Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers t-shirt , and other merchandise, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Fund. Donations may be disbursed to organizations around the state which can connect the support to individuals, or, in some cases, made directly to affected individuals.
VRLTA is asking all of the industry’s suppliers, distributors, allied vendor partners, and other corporations to support the Fund. The restaurant and hospitality industries in Virginia are not only large employers, but also greatly contribute to the Commonwealth's economy.
All donations to the Fund are fully tax-deductible, subject to applicable laws and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. If you would like to direct your donation to a particular area, please reach out to jim@vrlta.org for assistance.

Donations can be made through VRLTA's websit e at  https://www.vrlta.org/donations/donate.asp?id=19606 .
National Restaurant Association to provide $500 grants to restaurant employees - applications open 4/2

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation is providing $500 grants through a restaurant employee relief fund dedicated to assist distressed restaurant employees whose work-life has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. These grants will be made on a first-come first-served basis, subject to availability of funds. 100% of the Fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers.  Applications for grant money will open on April 2. For more information, go to   https://rerf.us
This 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 all this week.

The effort is encouraging 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 is also partnering 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 and hospitality workers in crisis.


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.