As we wait for the right time to travel again, let's get inspired and dream about the good times ahead. Virginia's Blue Ridge is Worth the Wait.
Effective Friday, June 5, 2020, a large portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including Virginia’s Blue Ridge, has moved into Phase Two of its Forward Virginia recovery plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE - Effective July 1, 2020, Virginia has now moved to Phase Three. Learn more about this new phase of the Forward Virginia plan with our page on Phase Three Guidelines >
More detailed information can be found on Forward Virginia Guidelines on the official Commonwealth of Virginia website, including general guidelines and best practices for all types of businesses, as well as additional resources related to COVID-19. Forward Virginia Website >
Effective May 29, 2020 and pursuant to Governor Northam's Executive Order 63, all patrons aged 10 and over shall wear face coverings over their mouth and nose when entering, exiting, traveling through, or spending time inside buildings.
Individuals who have trouble breathing or have medical conditions that prohibit wearing a mask or face covering will not be required to do so. These individuals will not be required to prove or explain medical conditions.
Additional Details: Executive Order 63 from the Office of the Governor >
We encourage all businesses and individuals to commit to the Virginia's Blue Ridge Stay Safe Pledge as a way to work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. The pledge follows recommended guidelines from the CDC and public health experts on the best ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help Virginia's Blue Ridge stay safe as a region for local residents, businesses, and visitors. Learn more about the VBR Stay Safe Pledge >
The following is an overview of updates regarding specific travel-related business sectors in Virginia. You can also get more information about the response to COVID-19 in Virginia's Blue Ridge with our special COVID-19 Landing Page.
NOTE: Businesses are doing their best to adapt to new policies, health requirements, and best practices in response to COVID-19. We recommend checking directly with specific businesses for the most current information on their services and guidelines, and encourage patience as we all work to get through this together.
Businesses: Restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, cideries, food trucks, wineries, tasting rooms
Phase II: Indoor and outdoor patio spaces can be opened for service, but occupancy must be limited to no more than 50% of capacity. Businesses can continue to offer takeout & delivery options.
Local Resources: Restaurants > | Craft Beverages > | Patio Options > | Takeout Maps >
Businesses: Outdoor performing arts venues, outdoor concert venues, outdoor movie theaters, drive-in entertainment, outdoor sports venues, museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos, walking tours, public & private social clubs
Phase II: Businesses may reopen but occupancy is not to exceed 50% of capacity, or 50 patrons, whichever is less. Six feet of physical distancing should be maintained between individuals not of the same household. There will be additional requirements and guidelines based on the specific type of business.
Local Resources: Attractions > | Museums > | Natural Sites & Zoos >
Phase II: Social gatherings should be limited to 50% occupancy of the event space, if applicable, or 50 participants, whichever is less.
Local Resources: Calendar of Events > | Calendar of Virtual Events >
Phase II: Hotels & lodging facilities are classified as essential businesses and have remained open, provided they are in compliance with all guidelines and requirements for physical distancing, cleaning & disinfection, and workplace safety practices.
Local Resources: Hotels & Lodging >
Businesses: Private campgrounds
Phase II: Private campgrounds may reopen but all lots rented for short term stays must provide a minimum of at least 20 feet between units. There should be no gatherings of greater than 50 people in one location.
Local Resources: Camping & Campgrounds >
Businesses: All non-essential brick-and-mortar retail establishments
Phase II: Retail businesses may reopen but must limit occupancy to 50% capacity and assist customers in keeping at least 6 feet of space between individuals.
Local Resources: Shopping > | Online Shopping Options in VBR >
Phase II: Farmers markets should continue to offer pre-scheduled ordering and pickup options. On-site shopping is allowed as long as physical distancing guidelines are adhered to and there should be a minimum of 6 feet between parties at tables.
Local Resources: Farmers Markets >
Businesses: Salons, barbershops, spas, massage centers, tanning salons, tattoo shops, other locations where personal care or grooming services are performed
Phase II: Businesses may reopen but capacity must be limited to no more than 50% occupancy and services must be provided by appointment only with at least 6 feet of separation between stations. Services must be provided by appointment only.
Local Resource: Spas & Salons >
Businesses: Indoor & outdoor recreational sports activities
Phase II: Indoor & outdoor recreational sports may occur if 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by instructors, participants, and spectators. Competition that involves close contact must be avoided. Total number of attendees (including participants & spectators) for outdoor sports is not to exceed 50 persons. For indoor sports, the number of attendees should not exceed 30 persons, or 30% of occupancy, whichever is less.
Local Resources: Sports > | Golf > | Disc Golf >
Businesses: Gyms, recreation centers, sports facilities, exercise facilities
Phase II: Businesses may reopen but occupancy must be limited to no more than 30% of capacity, while maintaining a minimum of 10 feet of physical distancing between individuals as much as possible. Outdoor activities and classes are permitted, where proper social distancing can be practiced.
Local Resources: Gyms & Fitness >
Businesses: Indoor & outdoor swimming pools
Phase II: Indoor & outdoor swimming pools may be open for lap swimming, diving, exercise, and instruction only. Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and play features must remain closed.
Local Resources: Water Adventures > | Scenic Blueways >
Businesses: Indoor theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, indoor entertainment centers, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, trampoline parks, escape rooms, indoor public amusement facilities
Phase II: Businesses are to remain closed to the public.
Local Resources: VBR Virtual Activities & Things to Do > | Virtual Entertainment Options in VBR >
To learn more about Safer at Home: Phase II, visit the Forward Virginia Guidelines website >
All individuals are urged to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and use face coverings when in public. If you feel sick or are showing any symptoms of being sick, stay home.
In addition to the guidelines provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the transition to Safer at Home: Phase II, there are adjustments being made to trails, parks, and outdoor recreation areas in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, based on decisions being made by land managers.
The following is a list of updates related to outdoor places of interest and recreation activities in Virginia’s Blue Ridge:
Effective June 13, the National Park Service has reopened the Appalachian Trail in Virginia's Blue Ridge, including the popular Triple Crown portion of Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs. Visitors are advised to observe all CDC health and social distancing guidelines, as well as adhere to Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all trash. National Park Service news release >
The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Blue Ridge remains open to the public. All seasonal visitor service facilities remain closed, including campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms and visitor centers. Learn more on the National Park Service website >
NOTE: As a result of recent heavy rains, the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia's Blue Ridge is currently closed from Milepost 112.4 to Milepost 135.9. There are multiple road hazards and the schedule for repairs is currently unknown. Learn more in the National Park Service News Release >
Carvins Cove remains open to the public for boating, fishing, and trails. The boat rental program is currently suspended and access fees to the park are being waived. Restrooms are currently closed. Learn more on the Western Virginia Water Authority website >
The outdoor amenities and trails at Explore Park in Roanoke County remain open to the public. Don's Cab-Inns Campground and Blue Mountain Adventures primitive camping opened to the public on Friday, May 15 - bookings must be made in advance. Learn more on the Roanoke County website >
Treetop Quest aerial adventure course has resumed daily operations. Learn more >
Tubing, river gear rental and shuttle service on the Roanoke River through Blue Mountain Adventures are available for reservations. Learn more >
The Visitor Center at Explore Park reopened to the public on Saturday, May 23.
Many recreation sites in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests have reopened for day use. Campgrounds and facilities within recreation areas remain closed and trash service will not be available, so all visitors are asked to pack out everything they bring in. Learn more on the U.S. Forest Service website >
The following outdoor outfitters are offering various forms of services and rentals:
Aside from certain areas closed due to flooding caused by recent rain, all greenways in the City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, Salem, and Vinton are open. Certain parking areas for Greenways in the City of Roanoke remain closed. Learn more about the reopening of the City of Roanoke Paved Greenways >
Additional Information: Roanoke Valley Greenways website >
Virginia State Parks, including Smith Mountain Lake State Park, Fairy Stone State Park, Claytor Lake State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, and Douthat State Park, are open to the public. Learn more on the Virginia State Parks website >
Unfortunately, the Zagster Bike Share program has been discontinued. Learn more on the RIDE Solutions website >
For additional information and resources related to the outdoors, Roanoke Outside has put together a list of COVID-19 Outdoor Updates that is being regularly updated with details about outdoor businesses and access to parks & trails. Outdoor Updates >