Latest Round of Governor Northam’s Easing of Restrictions

Date: May 21, 2021

Friday, May 14th Governor Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Governor Northam also announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned.

 

The updates to Virginia’s mask policy are reflected in amendments to Executive Order Seventy-Two and will become effective at 12 midnight on Saturday, May 15th along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.

 

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.

 

The state of emergency in Virginia will remain in place at least through June 30 to provide flexibility for local government and support ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Governor Northam will take executive action to ensure individuals have the option to wear masks up to and after that date. Masks will continue to be required in K-12 public schools, given low rates of vaccination among children.

 

The full text of Seventh Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine, which takes effect on May 15, can be found here.

 

The full text of Executive Order Seventy-Nine, which takes effect on Friday, May 28, can be found here.

 

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia

 

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