Limiting Sidewalk Gatherings to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus
While many cities have expanded the capacity of restaurants and retail businesses to operate in the public realm on sidewalks, streets, and parking spaces, Arlington County, Virginia is trying to limit the size of crowds on sidewalks.
The Arlington County Board recently approved "an emergency ordinance banning groups larger than three from congregating on streets and sidewalks when there are posted restrictions," reports Hannah Schuster. "Pedestrians must stay at least six feet apart in these areas."
"Anyone who violates the rule could face a fine of up to $100, though enforcement will only begin 'after a period of outreach and education,' and after signs explaining the policy are posted," according to Schuster.
The county board approved the new law the same night as social media images revealed large crowds of people gathering on a sidewalk in Clarendon, a wealthy neighborhood in the county, as shared by Tom Lynch, NBC Washington reporter, on Twitter.
This is a look at a sidewalk in Clarendon tonight as the Arlington County Board adopts an order that will prohibit groups of more than three from congregating on streets and sidewalks. Enforcement will start after "outreach and education" per the board's release @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/qMUkMW4BJC
— Tom Lynch (@TomLynch_) August 1, 2020
The news about the new ordinance banning sidewalk gatherings is embedded about halfway through Schuster's coverage of COVID-19 trends in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland.