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.
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 >
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.
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:
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 >
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 >
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.
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 >
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 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: