Face Coverings Required in Virginia When Out in Public Starting Friday

Starting on Friday, May 29 in Virginia, people over the age of 10 will be required to wear face coverings while out in public in places such as retail stores, restaurants and salons.

Governor Northam added the requirement today as part of Virginia's Phase One reopening plan.

Everyone aged 10 and above must wear a face covering inside all brick and mortar retail stores, personal care and grooming salons, inside restaurants except when eating and drinking, on public transportation, at any local or state government office, or anywhere people congregate.

Exceptions to the requirement include while eating, drinking or exercising, or if you have a health condition, trouble breathing or are unable to put on and remove the mask yourself.

The face covering mandate will be enforced at businesses by the Virginia Dept. of Health. There will be no police or sheriff enforcement for businesses or individuals.

"Please do the right thing and help one another," Northam said.

Instructions for making your own mask are widely available online and masks are for sale at many places in Virginia or online.

Virginia's Department of Labor and Industry will come up with mask usage guidelines for other businesses and offices not generally open to the public.

It is expected that Northern Virginia and Accomack County will join the rest of the state in the Phase One reopening this Friday. Northam says his office is still working with the mayor of Richmond to get that city ready for Phase One.

Northam says Virginia Beach's reopening of their oceanfront area went smoothly over the weekend and he hopes to have beach reopening plans from Norfolk and Hampton later this week.

The Governor says the percentage of positive tests continues to trend downward, testing is increasing, and hospitalizations for coronavirus are down slightly. Northam, however, reminds everyone that the virus is still here.

More on this story from our media partner, ABC 13 - WSET.

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