President Biden Northam Alexandria

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and President Joe Biden made an appearance at Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria on Friday morning. 

When the clock struck midnight on May 28, all of Virginia's coronavirus-related were lifted. 

Two weeks ago, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the end of all of Virginia's coronavirus restrictions, effective today. The move means that restaurants and entertainment venues can operate at full capacity, there are no limits on gatherings, and social-distancing requirements are no longer in place. Northam also lifted Virginia's mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents, except in certain circumstances.

“There are no limits on capacity or distancing in Virginia's restaurants, businesses, offices or other venues,” Northam said on Friday. "We are closer to a more normal life than we have been in the past 14 months."

Although capacity limits, distancing, and other business requirements are fully lifted, April Achter of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District said the VDH continues encouraging businesses and other establishments to follow health department and CDC recommendations for masking, distancing, handwashing, cleaning, symptom screening and  ventilation. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, she said, should continue to mask and remain physically distanced in most settings. Individuals who are fully vaccinated may remove their mask in most settings.

She added that the CDC continues to recommend universal masking - regardless of vaccination status - in schools, child care settings, healthcare settings, homeless shelters and correctional facilities.

Achter explained that the only mask mandate that remains in effect stipulates that all students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear masks in public and private K-12 school settings. This mandate also pertains to individuals participating in non-school-related activities such as voting or attending a performance. When outside on a school property, masks can be removed if a person is fully vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated may remove masks when outdoor on a school property if they can maintain six-foot social distancing practicing. 

Regardless of vaccination status, a federal requirement mandates that masks be worn when accessing public transportation. Mask recommendations and requirements will continue being updated at vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/cloth-face-covers/.

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