Aerial View of Old Town, Alexandria Waterfront

Information for Meeting Planners

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: May 27, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EST

The health and safety of Alexandria’s employees, clients, members and guests 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.

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

Alexandria, as part of the Northern Virginia region, is expected to enter Phase 1 of the state’s Forward Virginia reopening plan on Friday, May 29, 2020. During Phase 1, known as “Safer at home,” individuals are still encouraged to stay at home and gatherings of greater than 10 people are prohibited. Businesses that are open must strictly adhere to the physical distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, and enhanced workplace safety practices in Governor Northam’s “Guidelines for All Business Sectors” document. Restaurants can operate partial outdoor dining. Fitness and exercise facilities can offer limited outdoor operations. Personal care and grooming services can open if they follow mandatory requirements. This “Safer at Home” phase is expected to last 2-4 weeks, but the reopening timeline will ultimately be determined by public health metrics.

Additionally, Governor Northam announced on May 26, 2020, that it is mandatory to wear a face covering when in an indoor public setting, except when eating, drinking, or exercising. Learn more here. To learn where to get a face covering in Alexandria or how to make your own, click here. To learn more, read the state’s FAQs. Read about the about the City of Alexandria’s precautions and updates here.

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

Virginia is currently in the process of reopening. To learn more about the state’s reopening plan 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?

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.

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 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.

DO I have to wear a face covering when I am visiting Alexandria?

On May 26, 2020 Governor Northam announced that face coverings are now required in public indoor spaces, except when eating, drinking, or exercising. Additionally, a mask should be worn when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained, even outdoors. It is important to always have a mask with you as sometimes walkways, sidewalks and trails can become crowded unexpectedly. To learn where to get a face covering in Alexandria or how to make your own, click here.

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.

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.

WHAT MEASURES ARE LOCAL TRANSPORATION ENTITIES TAKING?
WHAT ATTRACTIONS IN ALEXANDRIA ARE OPEN?

Many of Alexandria’s museums and attractions are currently closed. As Alexandria enters Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan, attractions are planning how to welcome visitors in a safe, responsible way. When reopening dates are announced, they will be added here.  For information about attraction closures and event cancelations in D.C., click here.