I hope this note finds you healthy and well.
This week, Governor Northam announced that Virginia will enter Phase III on July 1st.
During Phase III, there will be a focus on the Safer at Home strategy, especially for vulnerable populations. Teleworking will still be encouraged, as will physical distancing and wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces.
Other guidelines for Phase III include:
- Social gatherings are permitted, with a cap of 250 individuals
- The cap on capacity for non-essential retail, restaurants, and beverage services will be lifted. However, physical distancing is still required
- Entertainment venues, such as zoos, museums, and outdoor performance venues, may open at 50% capacity with a cap of 1,000 people
- Gyms and fitness studios may operate at 75% capacity
- Swimming pools may open at 75% capacity with physical distancing
- Overnight summer camps remain closed
- Face coverings will still be required
More details are available on the Governor’s Forward Virginia website. The Governor also announced that he will no longer be holding twice-weekly briefings on COVID going forward.
As Virginia will soon enter Phase III, I will be holding the next “Breakfast with Rita” DMO CEO Briefing on Thursday, July 9th at 9:00am. We will be sending dial-in information closer to the briefing. I look forward to reconnecting with you all once again!
This week, U.S. Travel shared some exciting news for our industry. State and local governments may use the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for travel promotion. The U.S. Department of Treasury issued new FAQs this week for the CRF, which clarifies that state and local governments may provide CRF funds to destination marketing organizations to re-market convention facilities and the tourism industry. The new FAQ was issued in response to a U.S. Travel letter submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin seeking clarity on the CRF and asking for guidance on the use of these funds for DMOs.
Finally, as a reminder, the VTC WanderLOVE Grants are open until July 2nd. I encourage you to apply for this recovery funding and participate in our summer WanderLOVE campaign. Together, we hope to inspire travelers to take their next great Virginia road trip.