News Flash

City of Falls Church Economic Development Office News

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Phase Three Reopening Information and Resources

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Phase Three (Current Phase): Governor Northam’s Guidelines

Quick Links

General Guidelines for Phase Three

  • You will still be "Safer at Home," especially if you are vulnerable; stay home whenever possible.
  • Telework or working remotely will be strongly encouraged.
  • Practice strict social distancing when you are outside of your home.
  • Wear a face covering whenever you are outside of your home. Face coverings will still be required while inside public buildings.
  • Social gatherings will be able to have up to 250 people (up from 50 in Phase Two).

Business-Specific Guidelines for Phase Three

  • UPDATE: Governor Northam announced on June 30 that bar seating would still be prohibited in Phase Three.
  • Restaurants will no longer have to restrict the number of people in their restaurant, but social distancing and face coverings will still be required.
  • Non-essential retail businesses will no longer have to restrict the number of people in their stores, but social distancing and face coverings will still be required
  • Entertainment establishments like museums and zoos may open at 50% capacity, but they will be capped at 1,000 people.
  • Gyms may open at 75% capacity or 250 people, with 10 foot social distancing requirements.
  • Salons and barbershops will continue as in Phase Two.
  • Overnight summer camps will still closed.
  • Recreational sports attendees (including both participants and spectators) cannot exceed the lesser of 50% of the occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, or 250 persons; For sports played on a field, attendees are limited to 250 persons per field.
  • Pools will be able to open at 75% capacity, with 10 foot social distancing requirements.
    • Related: Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features must remain closed. 
  • Entertainment and fun -- performing arts venues, concert venues, movie theaters, drive-in entertainment, sports venues, botanical gardens, zoos, fairs, carnivals, amusement parks, museums, aquariums, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, carnivals, arts and craft facilities, escape rooms, trampoline parks, public and private social clubs, and all other entertainment centers and places of public amusement: open with occupancy at 50% of the lowest occupancy or 1000 patrons; 10 foot social distancing requirements.

Phase Three: City Permits for Using Outdoor Areas, Changing Outdoor Seating, and Setting Up Tents

Here is additional City specific information on the minimum requirements for using additional outdoor areas and/or tents.

Outdoor Seating at Restaurants
If you are using your pre-COVID outdoor space for dining, you do not need any additional permit to reopen that outdoor space. Please review the Governor’s mandatory requirements to find more details.

Use of Sidewalks or Parking Lots for Additional Outdoor Uses
To use a sidewalk or parking lot for additional outdoor seating or other business, the business must create and submit an Outdoor Area Plan. It must include:

  1. A hand-made or computer-generated document, drawn to scale, showing:
    • Seating area / business use area and capacity
    • Tent location (if applicable)
  2. Property owner’s written permission with signature

Email the Outdoor Area Plan to All plans will be evaluated based on code regulations for safety and ADA requirements, and it is possible that not every permit will be granted. You must have a permit before proceeding with your plan. (Note: the City’s Emergency Declaration allows the City Manager to suspend parking and other zoning requirements for the purpose of facilitating outdoor dining).

Tents for Outdoor Dining or Other Uses
You will need a tent permit. If the tent will have electric lighting or other electrical service, that also will require a permit and a safety inspection by the City.

Tents are restricted by size and area (maximum size is 30’x30’ with an occupant load of 30 persons). Calculations on occupancy inside the tent area will be limited to 50% of tent capacity as outlined by the Governors Executive Order. The tent application and the requirements for Phase One are here: and The permit fee for tents is waived for the COVID-19 emergency.

Feel free to contact the City’s Permits team at with any questions.

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