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Executive Order 63

Frequently Asked Questions

A face covering is any well-secured paper or cloth that covers your mouth and nose. Face coverings are not required to be surgical masks or N-95 respirators. (See CDC Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings for more detailed information).

Anyone aged ten and over is required to wear a face covering inside certain public places. It is strongly recommended that children older than two wear face coverings. Children aged two and under should never wear a face covering. A person who has trouble breathing, who cannot secure or remove the face covering without assistance, or who has a medical condition limiting the use of face coverings should not wear a face covering.

Face coverings must be worn in the following locations:

  • Inside essential and non-essential brick and mortar retails establishments
  • Inside personal care and personal grooming establishments
  • Inside places where people congregate, including places of worship, waiting rooms, and libraries
  • Inside food and beverage establishments, except when eating or drinking
  • When utilizing public transportation, as well as when in any waiting or congregating areas associated with boarding public transportation 
  • When accessing state or local government services
  • All employment settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained for more than 10 minutes

Anyone aged 10 and older is required to wear a face covering inside certain public places.
It is strongly recommended that children older than two wear face coverings. Children aged two and under should never wear a face covering.

Yes, a proper face covering covers both nose and mouth.

Medical grade masks, including surgical masks or N-95 respirators, are not required and should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

Face coverings should be washed after each day. You can wash it in the washing machine with regular laundry or by hand with five tablespoons of bleach per gallon or four teaspoons bleach per quart. The face covering should be fully dry before using. See CDC Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings for information on how to launder a cloth face covering.

We recommend that you use a new paper face covering every day. Throw away used face coverings after each use.

A paper or cloth face covering is required in all required public settings. See CDC Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings.

Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops. Do not touch the face covering and handle by the ear loops or ties. Fold the outside corners together and place directly in a washing machine. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing, and wash your hands immediately after removing.

COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Yes, you are still required to wear a face covering in certain public settings.

Yes. Businesses may not allow you to enter an establishment where a face covering is required in order to keep other customers and employees safe.

Patrons who are not wearing a face covering can be the subject of enforcement via the Virginia Department of Health. In the case of egregious violations VDH can enforce through a court-issued injunction (civil) or summons and warrant, which are punishable as a Class One misdemeanor. Both require VDH to go through a judicial process prior to any potential arrest, which distinguishes this from a Class One misdemeanor through the criminal code. This is why the Executive Order cites title 32.1-health, and not the criminal code.

If you are at a business where customers are violating the order, you should first talk to the business owner. If that doesn’t work, you can call 1-877-ASK-VDH3. 

Again we are focused on education, and ask everyone to be part of the solution as we adjust to this new normal.

With respect to recreation and entertainment businesses, once they reopen, a patron would have to wear a mask outdoors if six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained from another patron. However, in other outdoor areas where you are not able to maintain six feet of physical distancing between yourself and others, it is strongly recommended that you wear a face covering. You should strive at all times to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others outside of your household.

No. Adults accompanying children age two through eighteen must use reasonable efforts to prompt those children to wear face coverings while inside the public areas noted above, to the extent possible.

No. Minors will not be charged with an injunction or Class 1 misdemeanor, as enforced by the Virginia Department of Health.

You can make a face covering from common materials you may have at home. See CDC Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings.

People with Medical Conditions

Nothing in this order shall prevent an individual with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering from seeking services, including medical care. In non-essential establishments where face coverings are required under EO61, including personal care and personal grooming facilities, patrons who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering are not permitted to give or receive services.

Nothing in this order shall prevent an individual with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering from seeking services, including medical care. In non-essential establishments where face coverings are required under EO61, including personal care and personal grooming facilities, individuals who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering are not permitted to give or receive services.

There is an exemption to EO63 for anyone communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Yes. The Order provides that if a health condition prevents you from wearing a face covering, you do not have to wear a face covering. Therefore, a person whose speech may be impacted by a health condition, may remove the face covering to speak. Proper physical distancing should be observed at all times.

Personal Care and Grooming Establishments

Yes, all individuals in a personal care or personal grooming establishment must wear a face covering.

Yes, all individuals in a personal care or personal grooming establishment must wear a face covering.

Food and Beverage Establishments

You should wear a face covering in all food or beverage establishments except while eating or drinking.

Yes, you should wear a face covering in all food or beverage establishments except while eating or drinking.

Yes, you should wear a face covering in all food or beverage establishments except while eating or drinking.

If you go inside the establishment to purchase wine, you should wear a face covering. Current guidelines require that you consume food and beverages outside, and as long as proper social distancing is maintained, face coverings are not required outside.

Public Transportation

You must wear a face covering at all times while utilizing public transportation.

Yes, you must wear a face covering at all times while utilizing public transportation.

Congregate Settings

Yes, you must wear a face covering while entering, exiting, traveling through or spending time in all public settings where individuals congregate, including places of worship. There are certain exemptions for religious rituals that do not allow for the wearing of face coverings.

Section D, paragraph 6 of Executive Order 63 and Order of Public Health Emergency Five provides that a facial covering need not be worn by “[a]ny person seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired and for which the mouth needs to be visible.”  Thus, a person speaking to attendees during a worship service may remove the face covering while speaking.  That person, however, must also maintain proper physical distancing of at least six feet from others while speaking.

Yes, you must wear a face covering while entering, exiting, traveling through or spending time in all public settings, including waiting areas.

Yes. EO63 requires all patrons in the Commonwealth aged ten and over to wear a face covering when entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time inside indoor places shared by groups of people who are in close proximity to each other. Common areas are not considered as part of a personal residence.

You should not wear a face covering when exercising, but you must maintain ten feet of physical distancing between yourself and others outside of your household.

Business Owners

Yes, you may not allow patrons to enter your establishment where a face covering is required in order to keep other customers and employees safe.

Businesses are not responsible for enforcement of EO63 on individual patrons. Businesses are responsible for enforcement of EO61 on employees who are required to wear a mask.

If you have asked a customer to leave and they refuse, then they are likely trespassing and you may call local law enforcement.

For questions not answered above, please email workforce@governor.virginia.gov.