Prince William County, VA – In an effort to support businesses in advance of the implementation of Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase One Executive Order 61, Prince William County is putting processes in place to help restaurants, dining and craft beverage establishments through the Temporary Activity Permitting process for outdoor seating.

On June 16, the Board of County Supervisors will hold a public hearing to establish a new simplified and expedited process for issuing a Temporary Activity Permit (TAP) for Outdoor Seating.

In the meantime, businesses with a current Alcohol and Beverage (ABC) license that wish to pursue outdoor seating under the ABC Response to Temporary Approval of Outside Dining can access the TAP here, view the guidelines and sample template here and online County Mapper sketch tool here.

Businesses must follow all requirements under Executive Order 61 and 62. Each TAP application must show that the outdoor areas where alcohol is served are self-contained, with seating areas separate from other facilities. The outdoor seating area shall not be located within any travel lanes, fire lanes, or access to and from the building. Use of orange mesh or roped stanchions or natural barriers to guide customers in line is suggested.

Upon the county receiving the TAP application, the owner will receive a Conditional Approval Letter. The Conditional Approval Letter may be used by the applicant to secure a revised ABC license that allows alcohol to be served in the outdoor seating area. Final formal permit approval will be granted within five to seven business days of the initial application submission date.

If a business wishes to pursue placing tables and chairs in a parking lot, adding fencing around the seating area, and/or adding tents to protect patrons from the elements, they may also use the expedited TAP application process, but will not receive a Conditional Approval Letter, as this requires a review of the available site parking requirements and additional safety measures for the public before a final formal approval will be issued. This approval process typically takes five to seven days.

Establishments with existing permitted outdoor seating areas do not need to apply for a TAP unless the business is planning to expand its footprint.

For more TAP information or assistance, please contact Steven Hall or George Harben at 703-792-6830, email or visit For the latest on COVID-19 and Prince William County, visit

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