Virginia governor makes face masks mandatory in public spaces


RICHMOND, Va. (WNCN/WRIC) – Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a statewide mandate to wear protective masks, face coverings in public spaces starting this Friday.

The order means Virginians must wear masks inside stores, barbers, restaurants, government buildings, anywhere that groups congregate.

The governor said this is about protecting those around us.

Children under the age of 10 will not be required to wear face coverings.

Other exceptions include:

  • When eating
  • When exercising
  • If you have trouble breathing
  • If you have certain health conditions that prohibit wearing a face mask

In terms of enforcement, Northam said this is more about compliance rather than fines.

The Virginia Department of Health will handle any issues regarding businesses not requiring face coverings.

This is a breaking story that will be updated as it develops.

Northam hinted at a possible mandate during press briefing late last week saying, “We want to make sure everyone has access to a mask, we also want to talk about how we enforce that but I’ll be making that announcement on Tuesday.”

On Saturday, Northam caught some heat after going to Virginia Beach without a mask.

A spokeswoman for Northam stated the governor was not expecting to be in close proximity to residents during the visit.

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