Extensive access restrictions and weapons prohibitions in downtown Charlottesville go into effect Friday evening.
Visitors will have to access the area through one of two checkpoints staffed by law enforcement. A long list of items that could be used as weapons are banned from the area. (scroll down for the full list) Firearms carried legally, however, are not banned due to state law.
Additionally, all staffed Parks & Rec facilities in the city will be closed. Fridays After Five at Sprint Pavilion has been canceled.
The University of Virginia has also implemented access restrictions to parts of Grounds.
HERE IS THE SECURITY ADVISORY FROM THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Effective the evening of August 10, 2018, the City of Charlottesville will establish a defined security area within downtown. There will be two entry points for pedestrians to access the security area. Law enforcement personnel will be positioned at the entry points at 1st Street S & Water Street and at 2nd Street SE & Water Street.
By order of the City Manager of the City of Charlottesville, the following items are prohibited within the downtown security area: BB Guns, Pellet Guns, Air Rifles or Pistols, Paintball Guns, Pellet Guns, Nunchucks, Tasers, Stun Guns, Heavy Gauge Metal Chains, Lengths of Lumber or Wood, Poles, Bricks, Rocks, Metal Beverage or Food Cans or Containers, Glass Bottles, Axes, Axe Handles, Hatchets, Ice Picks, Acidic or Caustic Materials, Hazardous or Flammable or Combustible Liquids, Skateboards, Swords, Knives, Daggers, Razor Blades or Other Sharp Items, Metal Pipes, Pepper or Bear Spray, Mace, Aerosol Sprays, Catapults, Wrist Rockets, Bats, Sticks, Clubs, Drones, Explosives, Fireworks, Open Fire or Open Flames, and Any Other Item Considered an “Implement of Riot.”
Any person in possession of a prohibited item will be denied entry into the downtown safety area. Violation of these restrictions may result in criminal penalties.
Law enforcement will also be enforcing Code of Virginia § 18.2-422 - Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places: “It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age to, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons (i) wearing traditional holiday costumes; (ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment or other activities and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons; (iii) engaged in any bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball; or (iv) wearing a mask, hood or other device for bona fide medical reasons upon (a) the advice of a licensed physician or osteopath and carrying on his person an affidavit from the physician or osteopath specifying the medical necessity for wearing the device and the date on which the wearing of the device will no longer be necessary and providing a brief description of the device, or (b) the declaration of a disaster or state of emergency by the Governor in response to a public health emergency where the emergency declaration expressly waives this section, defines the mask appropriate for the emergency, and provides for the duration of the waiver. The violation of any provisions of this section is a Class 6 felony.”
The City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police and all partner agencies involved in safeguarding the Greater Charlottesville Region throughout the weekend continue to remain vigilant in anticipation of planned events. Media advisories and other informational releases will be disseminated as necessary to provide significant situational updates.
Citizens and media outlets seeking information related to current events in the Charlottesville area are encouraged to follow social media accounts for the City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. These channels are the most official and immediate sources of information during the weekend. Any statements or photos issued via these accounts are to be considered official and approved for media use.