From the Office of the Governor: 

Commonwealth has administered nearly 7 million vaccines, 63 percent of Virginia adults have received at least one dose

Governor Ralph Northam today 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 midnight tonight 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.

  • Read the full press release here.
  • View the video message from Governor Northam here
  • 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


During this time of transition, VRF would like to encourage all businesses to 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 they are required to enter their business.