Roanoke customers, businesses adjust to Virginia’s mandatory mask mandate

ROANOKE, Va. – Gov. Northam’s executive order requiring masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is now in effect.

The governor’s mandate dictates customers have to wear masks inside of all brick-and-mortar stores for the foreseeable future.

Shoppers at Roanoke’s City Market adjusted to the change Friday afternoon. Signs outside of many stores reminded shoppers to put on their face coverings before stepping inside.

Some stores on Market Street, such as Chocolate Paper, had required masks inside before Gov. Northam’s action. Owner Melissa Palmer said it is a necessary change to keep people safe.

“It’s time for us to not worry so much about a piece of cloth and take every effort to show love and grace," Palmer said. “It’s a huge adjustment. It’s an adjustment for our customers walking in the door, and it’s an adjustment for our employees."

Masks are required:

  • Everyone ages 10 and up
  • Inside all brick and mortar retail establishments. Both essential and non-essential stores, including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Inside all personal care & grooming establishments
  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within 6 feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than 10 minutes
  • Inside food & beverage establishments, except when eating
  • On public transportation
  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services
  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments, when permitted to open