Last week, Governor Northam began the process of rolling back most of the measures put in place last year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate immediately and announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than previously planned.

The CDC guidelines state that fully-vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

During this time of transition, it is especially important that all businesses pro-actively communicate with both employees and the public via social media, signage, and other forms of communication regarding what their specific policy is on masks and whether or not they are required to enter their business.

  • Click here to view a video message from Governor Northam discussing the announcement.
  • The full text of Executive Order 72, which takes effect on May 15, can be found here.
  • The full text of Executive Order 79, which takes effect on May 28, can be found here.