ROANOKE, Va. – When Virginia’s mask requirements go into effect on Friday, churches are one place where they’ll be required.
Two weeks ago, when Virginia entered phase one, the government announced nine mandatory requirements for houses of worship to open.
At that time, it was merely recommended that those at services wear a face covering.
In Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 63, seven types of places where masks will be required are listed; however, churches and other houses of worship, are not explicitly mentioned.
Six of the seven points in the order are very specific, but one more general than the others:
“Any other indoor place shared by groups of people who are in close proximity to each other. This restriction does not apply to persons while inside their residence or the personal residence of another. Face coverings may be removed to participate in a religious ritual.”Executive Order 63
Seeking clarification as to whether churches are included in this order, 10 News reached out to Northam’s spokesperson who told us:
“Individuals are required to wear face coverings in places of worship but may remove face coverings to participate in religious rituals (such as communion), etc.”
For those of you planning to attend a service this weekend, make sure to bring a mask or you’ll be in violation of the order.