Local police enforce social gathering limitations at businesses

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Social gathering limitations are affecting businesses across the nation. All restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters are mandated to significantly reduce their capacity to 10 patrons, or close. Restaurants are encouraged to continue carry-out and takeaway options.

A sign outside Walkabout Outfitter on Main St. in Harrisonburg.

During this time, business owners caught not abiding by the rules could receive a misdemeanor charge.

Officer Hunter McKenzie, with the Harrisonburg Police Department, said they've been working to make businesses aware of the limitations and guidelines from Governor Ralph Northam.

He said they give businesses ample time to comply with the governor's orders and if they don't, a class one misdemeanor will be issued.

McKenzie said most businesses have been understanding and willing to make the changes.

"I think everybody has been very open to the idea, even though it is unfortunate for businesses, especially local ones, but we're all in this together," McKenzie said. "We're all after the main goal of keeping everyone safe so there haven't been any crazy issues with keeping things in order."

McKenzie said police officers are not checking in on businesses, but they are responding to tips and complaints from customers.