RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia has now followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on wearing masks outside. Effective immediately, wearing a mask outside is no longer necessary when you're fully vaccinated and alone or in a small group of people.
Wearing a mask is still required indoors and outside at concerts, sporting events, graduation ceremonies, and other situations where you're around a crowd of people.
In addition to the mask rule, the Governor also updated Executive Order Seventy-Two so up to 1,000 people can attend outdoor recreational sports starting April 29. That was originally supposed to go into effect May 15.
“Vaccinations are the way we will put this pandemic behind us and get back to normal life,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a statement announcing the change. “Our increasing vaccination rate and decreasing number of new COVID-19 cases has made it possible to ease mitigation measures in a thoughtful and measured manner. I encourage all Virginians who have not yet received the vaccine to make an appointment today.”
May 15 will still be the date other COVID-19 related restrictions are eased.
Under the changes taking place in May, the maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings, up from 50 and 100, respectively.
Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, up from 30 percent capacity or 500 people, Northam's office said. Outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity.
The Governor said he expected to announce even more restriction rollbacks in June as long as the COVID cases continue to go down and vaccine numbers go up.
More than 3.7 million Virginians (57%) have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.