Most of Virginia begins gradual reopening

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Most of Virginia is beginning the first phase of a gradual reopening plan put in place by Gov. Ralph Northam.
The governor is allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen Friday in most of the state. Northern Virginia, Richmond and Accomack County were all granted two week delays after elected leaders there expressed concern it was too early to open amid the coronavirus.
Northam said he’s basing his decision to reopen on positive trends in key metrics related to the virus’ spread, like hospital readiness and testing capacity.
There will still be severe restrictions in place. Some retail businesses will reopen with limited capacity, but indoor gyms would remain closed, beaches would remain closed to sunbathers and restaurants would still be prohibited from indoor dine-in service.
Beauty parlors and barber shops will be by appointment and will be able to operate only if both employees and customers wear masks. Entertainment venues, like theme parks and bowling alleys, will stay closed.
The governor has been criticized by black lawmakers for reopening too soon and by Republicans who said he has not moved quickly enough like some other states.