FILE - Ralph Northam mask

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam removes his mask to answer a question during a COVID-19 briefing at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

(The Center Square) – Limits on social and entertainment gatherings will be loosened by mid-May and the midnight curfew on alcohol sales will come to an end, per an executive order signed by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Effective May 15, the indoor social gathering limit will increase from 50 to 100 people indoors and from 100 to 250 people outdoors. Indoor entertainment venue limits will increase to 50% capacity, up to 1,000 people and outdoor entertainment venues will be able to open at 50% capacity with no cap on the number of attendees.

Indoor recreational sporting events will have their spectator capacity at 50%, up to 250 people and outdoor recreational sporting events will have their capacity at 50%, up to 1,000 people.

The statewide midnight curfew on alcohol sales and the prohibition on indoor dining between midnight and 5 a.m. will come to an end.

“It’s good news that half of all adults in Virginia have gotten a shot so far,” Northam said. “Vaccination numbers are up, and our COVID-19 case numbers are substantially lower than they were earlier this year. So, we have been able to begin easing some mitigation measures. We took a few more targeted steps this week, and we will do more next month.”

Social distancing and mask requirements at restaurants, bars and events will continue to stay in effect. Northam said he hopes to take further steps in June, potentially removing capacity restrictions completely.

Earlier this week, the governor ended a restriction that prohibited bar seating.

Social distancing and mask requirements will still remain in place for restaurants, bars and events.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.