LEAD NEWS: Governor's Update - Hampton Roads Restrictions

Today, Governor Northam announced an executive order that will take effect Friday in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads. The new restrictions will apply only to Hampton Roads, and don’t impact other portions of the state. The jurisdictions that will be impacted Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County, and York County.

Here is what that new Executive Order will restrict:

  • No alcohol sold for consumption on site after 10pm;
  • Indoor dining limited to 50% capacity;
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people prohibited; and
  • Restaurants must close by midnight.

The Executive Order has not been released yet; however, we will be sure to share a copy of the executive order in our communications later this week. 
Rebuild Virginia COVID-19 Economic Relief Grant

Yesterday, Governor Northam announced the creation of the Rebuild VA Small Business Grant Program. It will be administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to approximately 7,000 applicants to cover eligible expenses. Regrettably, businesses that have obtained other relief through Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or other funding through the CARES Act are precluded from participating. The application opens on August 10.

You can view a one pager about the program here.

You can learn more about the program, including eligibility criteria here .
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry COVID-19 Regulations Now Effective

As we mentioned last week, VRLTA has been engaging with the Virginia Health and Safety Codes Board for the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry regarding their COVID-19 regulations. We provided comment to VDOLI related to these regulations and provided our feedback. Thankfully, it appears many of the issues we raised have been addressed; however, there are still some troubling provisions in the new Emergency Temporary Standards.

As of yesterday, these new standards have taken effect as they were officially published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch .

Currently, VDOLI is working to develop training and outreach productions that will be made available to the employers, employees, and the general public as soon as they are available.

In the interim, VRLTA has reviewed the new regulations and created a summary for your review .

You can read the full regulation here .
AHLA National Day of Action is TOMORROW, 7/29
Take part in the AHLA National Day of Action -- Save Hotel Jobs – tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29th.  The hospitality sector has been one of the  hardest hit industries . Without fiscal and legislative action, our industry will continue to struggle.
We NEED 100,000 actions from our industry, including calls, letters, and social posts to flood the offices of Members of Congress.

Albemarle County / City of Charlottesville Local Regulations
Yesterday, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council passed local ordinances restricting local gatherings and placing limitations on restaurant occupancy to 50% indoors.

You can view the Charlottesville ordinance here .

You can view the Albemarle County ordinance here
Virginia General Assembly Special Session Begins August 18
Governor Northam has called for the General Assembly to convene for a special session on August 18. According to procedural rules around the passage of legislation, it may last for at least two weeks. The focus is on the impact of COVID-19 on the budget and criminal justice reform. As more details are released, we will be sure to share any updates with you. 
Mark Your Calendar
Our next Government Affairs call will be August 7, at 2 p.m. - Dial in information: 202.602.1295, conference ID 789-103-256#

The agenda will include:

  • Welcome – Gary Cohen – Government Affairs Committee Chair
  • Virginia Legislative and Regulatory Update – Robert Melvin
  • General Assembly Special Session Update
  • Virginia COVID-19 Grant Relief Fund
  • Gubernatorial/ Local COVID-19 Actions
  • VDOLI Regulations Update
  • VRLTA Chapter Zoom Meetings with Legislators – Robert Melvin
  • Federal Legislative Update – Robert Melvin
  • ABC Legislation and Regulations – Tom Lisk
  • AHLA/AAHOA/NRA Updates – Eric Terry/ Chris Savvides/ Vinay Patel
  • Other New Business