Virginia's Blue Ridge is Open for Business!

Governor Northam has lifted mask mandates for fully-vaccinated individuals, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Effective May 28, Virginia eased all distancing and capacity restrictions. Learn More >


COVID-19 - Visit VBR Partner Resources

Virginia's Blue Ridge is home to many organizations that are dedicated to serving the local and regional business community on a regular basis, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Virginia's Blue Ridge Tourism Impact Survey - let us know how your business has been impacted >

New Measures as part of the Forward Virginia Plan - Effective April 1, 2021 

With the number of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine continuing to increase in Virginia, the Governor of Virginia announced an amended Executive Order Number Seventy-Two in a series of actions that will gradually ease public health restrictions and increase capacity limits for indoor & outdoor gatherings & some entertainment venues, while continuing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The measures include the following:

  • Social Gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in social gatherings will increase to 100 people for outdoor settings and 50 people for indoor settings. This does not apply to religious services, employment, or educational settings.
  • Entertainment Venues: Outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 30% capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees. Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 500 people.
  • Recreational Sporting Events: The number of spectators allowed at recreational sporting events will be 100 people per field or 30% capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and 1,000 people per field or 30% capacity for outdoor settings, whichever is less.
  • In-person Graduation & Commencement Events: Events held outdoors must have a cap of 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less. For indoor events, the number of attendees should be limited to 500 people or 30% capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow all social distancing and safety protocols.

See the full text of Executive Order 72 on the Governor of Virginia's website > 

Phase Three Guidelines for All Business Sectors | Commonwealth of Virginia - Forward Virginia Guidelines >

Phase Three - effective July 1, 2020

We've also created a special Forward Virginia - Phase Three Guidelines page on our website to inform the general public about this step in the Forward Virginia plan as set forth by the Governor of Virginia. It provides resources and information about ways people can continue to support local businesses in Virginia's Blue Ridge. Phase Three Guidelines Page > 

Masks & Face Coverings

Effective May 14, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and lifted Virginia's universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC guidelines state that fully-vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in healthcare facilities, and in congregate settings.

Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance.

Those who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine

Full Text: Amended Executive Order 72 >

Resource: Mask Friendly Posters >

Virginia's Blue Ridge Stay Safe Pledge

VBR Stay Safe Pledge Business FormWe 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.

We're encouraging all local businesses and partners to join this initiative by taking the pledge. Complete our short form to let us know you're participating! Stay Safe Pledge Business Form >

Learn more about the VBR Stay Safe Pledge >

COVID-19 - Industry Resources on Best Practices & Guidelines for Reopening

There are also many resources from trade organizations and agencies related to best practices and guidelines for various hospitality and travel industries as they move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help you get an idea of the funding and financial support that may be available to you, please consider the following business resources below. Keep in mind that many of these entities may be experiencing a high volume of inquiries at this time:

Visit VBR Updates & Alerts

Virginia Tourism Corporation: COVID-19 Industry Response Toolkit

Regional Resources

Local Governments - Business Information & Updates

Local Chambers of Commerce

State Resources

National & Related Resources

Mental Health & Self Care Resources

Visit VBR Updates & Information

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge is committed to supporting our local hospitality industry, which is a vital part of the region's economy and generates thousands of jobs. As the Coronavirus affects travel and business decisions, the team at Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge will continue to coordinate with our partners to assess how business is changing and how we can work to develop resources that help minimize the impact on our economy. If you have updates that you can provide to us regarding your business, please reach out to the following staff contacts:

Partner Updates
Marlee Richardson -

Event Updates
Holly Marden -

Visit VBR has also developed a page with information, ideas, and resources about how locals and future visitors can support our local businesses during this difficult time.