ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Virginia (WHSV) – New changes to Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions went into effect March 1, and now allows more people to work in multiple public places, such as public places. B. Recreational sports events and overnight summer camps.
Entertainment venues can now have up to 250 people indoors or 30 percent capacity and up to 1,000 people outdoors or 30 percent capacity.
Social events such as weddings are subject to social gathering restrictions and only allow 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
2020 should be the first fully operational year for Peace Farms in Mount Crawford.
Event coordinator Becky Hummel said it has been difficult to gift clients their dream wedding with when restrictions allow only a portion of their closest family and friends, and she has heard that some couples are choosing to book outside of the state where COVID is concerned -19 restrictions allow more guests.
She said other states have different guidelines for home gatherings than venue gatherings, and she thinks Virginia should, too.
“We just want to ask the Virginia Governor to distinguish between the two and focus on what venues can do to improve security that many have already put in place,” said Hummel.
The Peace Farm venue has invested thousands of dollars in air purification systems and cleaning equipment, according to Hummel.
She said people can easily create social distance in their space, and they have entrances and exits, staff refurbishing high-contact areas during events, large doors that open, and hand sanitizer in their facilities.
Laurel Detamore and Cody Voltin originally planned their wedding to take place at Peace Farms in April 2020. After rescheduling several times since then, they are now hoping to get married in May.
“I don’t want to move for the fifth time,” Detamore said. “If you want to keep it down to 25, this isn’t the wedding I imagined as a kid, so I’ll probably put it off again.”
The couple is happy that Peace Farms didn’t charge them extra for rescheduling multiple times, but other couples weren’t as lucky. They said it was financially exhausted in other ways, such as sending out multiple save the dates and invitations, as well as memorabilia.
Hummel said that in 2020, Frieden Farms was able to host multiple half capacity weddings, which equates to 149 people. However, some couples have postponed their weddings to 2021 in hopes of having a bigger event.
Several other industries such as photographers, florists, bakers, caterers, DJs, evening wear shops and rental companies were also affected last year.
Hummel said the few events they held at half capacity went well with no reported outbreaks, and she says Virginia should allow the venues to do so, at least for now.
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