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Virginia updates state rules about wearing masks outdoors. Here's what is changing

Effective immediately, wearing a mask outside in the Commonwealth is no longer necessary if you're fully vaccinated and alone or in a small group setting.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on wearing masks outside. 

Effective immediately, wearing a mask outside in the Commonwealth is no longer necessary if you're fully vaccinated and alone or in a small group setting, Governor Northam announced Thursday.

Mask use is still required indoors and outdoors at large crowded events such as concerts, sporting events and graduation ceremonies. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

"The CDC’s recommendations underscore what we have said all along—vaccinations are the way we will put this pandemic behind us and get back to normal life," Northam said. "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.”

In addition to the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate, Northam also revised Executive Order Seventy-Two to allow up to 1,000 spectators for outdoor recreational sports -- also effective immediately.

View the governor's newly amended Executive Order Seventy-Two below:

Northam reiterated that the next steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions will still go into effect starting on Saturday, May 15 as previously announced. The Governor said he expects to announce even more restriction rollbacks in June as long as the COVID cases continue to go down and vaccination numbers go up.

Click here to read more about what  restrictions will be loosened on May 15. 

More than 3.7 million Virginians -- around 57% -- have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: Gov. Hogan lifts outdoor mask mandate, all outdoor dining restrictions in Maryland

RELATED: Social gatherings, entertainment venues in Virginia can have more people starting May 15

RELATED: Montgomery County won't follow Hogan's restaurant, mask guidance

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