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Information for Meeting Planners

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: November 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm. EST

The health and safety of Alexandria’s residents, employees, members, guests and meeting attendees are of utmost importance to Visit Alexandria. Visit Alexandria’s Destination Sales Team is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation. Here are some FAQs and resources for your planning purposes. If you can't find answers to your questions, please contact the team directly or (703) 652-5360.

What is the latest on how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria?

Alexandria is currently in Phase 3 of the state’s Forward Virginia reopening plan. To see what restaurants are open for outdoor dining, click here. To see what restaurants are open for indoor dining, click here. For a full list of what's open for visitors, click here.

Additionally, Governor Northam announced on May 26, 2020, that it is mandatory to wear a face covering when in a public indoor setting. Face coverings are required to enter restaurants and shops and must be worn except when eating, drinking or exercising. Beginning October 1, 2020, face coverings are required in Alexandria for instances when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained, even outdoors. Learn more here. To learn where to get a face covering in Alexandria or how to make your own, click here. Read the state’s FAQs here. Read about the about the City of Alexandria’s precautions and updates here.

On November 13, 2020, the Commonwealth announced additional restrictions related to alcohol sale, fitness facilities, personal grooming businesses, entertainment businesses, in-person gathering numbers and more to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Please refer to the Executive Order to see how these updates may affect your meeting.

I HAVE A MEETING PLANNED IN ALEXANDRIA. SHOULD IT GO ON?

To learn more about the state’s current opening status and the requirements for various sectors, including restaurants and retail, click here. We encourage all meeting planners to closely monitor CDC recommendations as they make their decisions about upcoming meetings.

HOW CAN MEETINGS AND GROUPS COMING TO ALEXANDRIA IN THE FUTURE ENSURE THE SAFETY OF MEETING ATTENDEES?

Meeting planners and groups can visit the Alexandria Safety Hotel Protocol page to review sanitation initiatives from the city's hotels.

In order to promote the highest level of safety as Alexandria plans to reopen, the Alexandria Health Department, with support from Visit Alexandria, has launched the ALX Promise program. The ALX Promise shield displayed on a business’ window or website indicates that they have committed to higher safety standards for employees and customers than the minimum rules required by law for all businesses. To learn about which businesses and hotels have taken this extra step to ensure a safe and welcoming environment, click here.

Additionally, we encourage all visitors to review the CDC’s information about COVID-19  to ensure that proper safety precautions are being followed. Visitors and residents are encouraged to continue to observe public health recommendations. For more prevention tips, please visit the CDC’s website. Helpful information for meeting planners can be found on the PCMA and MPI websites.

WHAT MEASURES ARE THE HOTEL INDUSTRY TAKING IN THIS SITUATION?

The hotel industry is closely following CDC guidance, as well as adhering to corporate/management guidelines. Hotels are also invited to participate in Alexandria’s citywide ALX Promise program to indicate that the safety of its employees and patrons is a top priority. Visit the Alexandria Safety Hotel Protocol page to review sanitation initiatives from the city's hotels.

Hotels are also enforcing the proper procedures provided by Ecolab for cleaning guest rooms, including guest touch points and the use of approved Ecolab antibacterial cleaning products. They have increased the frequency in which their public area high touch points are cleaned with approved Ecolab antibacterial products.

WHAT MEASURES ARE LOCAL TRANSPORATION ENTITIES TAKING?
IF I CANCEL MY MEETING, WILL I GET REFUNDED FROM THE HOTEL AND/OR VENUE?

Please contact your meeting venue and/or hotel for their specific policies.

HOW CAN I LEARN WHICH ALEXANDRIA RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS ARE CURRENTLY OPEN?

To see what restaurants are open for outdoor dining, click here. To see what restaurants are open for indoor dining, click here. To learn about what's open in Alexandria, click here. To learn if a specific shop is open, view their website or social media channels or contact them directly. On ALX at Home you can find out which Alexandria restaurants are offering curbside, takeout or delivery, which retailers have adjusted offerings and other experiences you can enjoy from home.

WHAT ATTRACTIONS IN ALEXANDRIA ARE OPEN?

Alexandria's attractions and tours are beginning to reopen. To learn more, click here. For information about attraction closures and event cancellations in Washington, D.C., click here

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A FACE COVERING WHEN I'M VISITING ALEXANDRIA?

Governor Northam announced on May 26, 2020, that it is mandatory to wear a face covering when in a public indoor setting. Face coverings are required to enter restaurants and shops and must be worn except when eating, drinking or exercising. Beginning October 1, 2020, face coverings are required in Alexandria for instances when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained, even outdoors. Learn more here. To learn where to get a face covering in Alexandria or how to make your own, click here. Read the state’s FAQs here. Read about the about the City of Alexandria’s precautions and updates here.

Is a quarantine or negative test required for visitation to Virginia?

At this time, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require a negative test nor a quarantine upon arrival for visitors. That said, please do not travel if you are feeling sick or have had close contact in the past 14 days with someone who is believed to have had COVID-19. 

The District of Columbia does require visitors from most states (but excluding Virginia or Maryland) to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival and again 3-5 days after arrival if still in DC. Those visiting DC for less than 24 hours are exempt from these testing requirements. Learn more here.

Note that some states may recommend or require quarantine upon return from travelling to Virginia. Please check with your state's health department for more information.

WHAT ARE HOTELS DOING IN THE CASE OF A POSITIVE OR PRESUMPTIVE COVID-19 GUEST?

Hotels are complying with and working closely with the Alexandria Health Department. As with other communicable diseases, the Alexandria Health Department is responsible for notification and the monitoring of potentially exposed individuals. 

If there is a positive or high risk presumptive COVID-19 case at the hotel, they will follow CDC and the local health department guidance for cleaning rooms/public spaces, including the use of professional cleaning companies.

WHAT SHOULD ATTENDEES DO IF THEY SUSPECT THEY ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19?

Attendees who think they might be sick with COVID-19, or any illness, and need medical attention, should seek care at one of Alexandria's urgent care centers or, if it is an emergency, at Inova Alexandria Hospital. If you think you may have COVID-19, please call ahead so the staff can best prepare for your visit.

For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703-746-4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.