In a brief video message, Northam said the state would follow the new guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and no longer require fully vaccinated Virginians to wear masks indoors, except in certain circumstances, effective Friday at midnight. The move comes about 11 1/2 months after Northam put the mask mandate in place in late May 2020, as COVID-19 cases were soaring statewide.
Northam said businesses may still require patrons to wear masks indoors and that masks would still be required to be worn in schools. He cited the low rates of vaccinations among children as a reason for continuing to require masks in schools. Vaccines were just approved this week for adolescents aged 12 to 15, and no vaccine has been approved for children under age 12.