City of Richmond, Richmond Police Department issue guidance on enforcement of Governor Northam’s social distancing order

According to Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53, as of 11:59 on Tuesday, March 24 all businesses in Virginia are subject to the following regulations:
  • Entertainment and recreation venues must close;
  • Non-essential businesses that cannot abide by the recommended six feet of social distancing must close;
  • Food and drink establishments must limit their service to carryout, curbside, or delivery;
  • Non-essential brick and mortar stores may stay open as long as they limit capacity to 10 patrons at a time; and
  • Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and medical and health establishments, may stay open but must practice social distancing and enhanced hygienic precautions. 

If a resident of Richmond sees an establishment out of compliance with this order and is concerned for public health, they should call the Richmond Police Department non-emergency number: 804-646-5100. This also applies to residents who see large groups not practicing social distancing in city parks and outdoor spaces.

Concerned residents should not call 911 in these cases. While non-compliance with social distancing guidelines puts the community at risk, 911 lines should be reserved for emergencies.

These are the directions that the Richmond Police Department has given its officers on enforcement of the Governor’s instructions:

Officers will attempt to address these situations as they arise in the following manner:
  1. FIRST COMPLAINT – Officers will identify the responsible party, educate them regarding the governor’s order and document the interaction in an offense report. This will include providing the responsible party with a copy of the executive order.
  2. SECOND COMPLAINT – Officers will warn the responsible party that continued violation will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor and document the interaction in an offense report.
  3. THIRD COMPLAINT – Officers will contact supervision for assistance and proceed with criminal charges, if appropriate.
*NOTE* - Egregious or extreme cases will be handled differently