What’s open right now? A list of what’s ‘essential’ vs. ‘non-essential’

Essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, pet stores, dollar stores and much more


ROANOKE, Va. – After Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a statewide closure of certain non-essential businesses and K-12 schools, and then issued a stay-at-home order on Monday, March 30, many are left wondering which businesses fall under the “essential” or “non-essential” categories.

Here’s a breakdown of what will be open and closed. The stay-at-home order is in effect until June 10.

Essential retail businesses (these will stay open):

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations
  • Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores
  • Retail located within healthcare facilities
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions
  • Pet stores and feed stores
  • Printing and office supply stores
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners

Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, according to Governor Northam’s office.

Non-essential recreation and entertainment businesses (required to close):

  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities
  • Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.

Restaurants and on-site alcohol establishments:

All dining and “congregation areas” in the following establishments must close to the public. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.

  • Restaurants
  • Dining establishments
  • Food courts
  • Farmers markets
  • Breweries
  • Microbreweries
  • Distilleries
  • Wineries
  • Tasting rooms

Nothing in Governor Northam’s order limits the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks, the operations of the media, law enforcement agencies, or the operation of government.

For more about the stay-at-home order, click here. For more information regarding Gov. Northam’s statewide order temporarily closing non-essential businesses and schools, click here. For a list of frequently asked questions regarding this order, click here.

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