Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Monday issued a “stay at home” order for nearly all of The Old Dominion’s residents, effective immediately and remains in effect through June 10.
Residents are allowed to shop for groceries, obtain medical attention, get takeout food from restaurants, engage in banking but all of the state’s beaches, both coastal and along lakes and ponds, are closed to swimming or sunbathing.
State parks will remain open, Northam said. and can be used for hiking and other outdoor activities as long as users obey the state ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and keep at least 6 foot or more from others.
Northam’s order follows similar bans by Maryland and District of Columbia as well as New York, Illinois and other states.
“However you want to describe it, this is all of the states giving the same direction…which is to stay at home,” the governor says.
As with most executive orders by a governor, the stay-at-home order has the force of law and those who openly violate it could face arrest and charges. Will it happen? It has happened in New York, where bars, restaurants violated such orders and, again, in the District of Columbia.
Remember that some traffic tickets are considered “arrests.” Flagrant violations, the says state attorney general’s office, may require arrests, even though the charge would most likely be a misdemeanor.