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Gov. Northam imposes new restrictions on popular vacation area after surge in COVID-19 cases

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's reimposed restrictions take effect at midnight Friday for the Hampton Roads area, which includes Virginia Beach.

RICHMOND, Va. — Planning a trip to Virginia Beach or any other popular destination in the Hampton Roads area? Heads-up. Gov. Ralph Northam has scaled back reopening measures to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new restrictions that take effect at midnight Friday in the Hampton Roads region. Those areas include Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County, and York County.

RELATED: Gov. Northam introduces more coronavirus restrictions for Hampton Roads

The restrictions will prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol after 10 p.m. in bars, restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries. The establishments must also close by midnight.

Indoor dining will also be limited to 50% capacity. Public and private in-person gatherings of more than 50 people will be prohibited as well.

“This is about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads,” said Gov. Northam at a news conference Tuesday after noticing a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Gov. Northam met with Dr. Deborah Birx, who helps lead the state's coronavirus task force. She validated new restrictions for the region. 

As much of the country sees a surge in coronavirus cases, Dr. Birx has suggested that people take precautionary measures a step further by wearing face coverings at home to protect vulnerable family members.

"We can see the virus moving North and we can see the test positivity rate rising in Virginia," Dr. Birx said.

Gov. Northam’s rollback on reopening measures in the Hampton Roads region will be in place for two to three weeks. He will monitor case data to determine when they will be lifted.

He also said he will monitor trends in other parts of the state and consider travel restrictions if conditions don’t improve.

“All options are on the table,” Gov. Northam said.

RELATED: Virginia coronavirus updates: Va. averaged more than 1K new cases a day for 4 days

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