Governor Northam issues statewide mask requirement

Plus: Get our free mask sign download for all Virginia dealers (below)

As of December 10, 2020, all individuals in the Commonwealth aged five and older must wear a face covering when indoors. You must also wear a face covering when outdoors if unable to maintain six feet physical distance from others.

Science shows that face coverings are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus — but wearing them is also a sign of respect. A face covering can be anything that covers the nose and mouth, like a mask, scarf, or bandana, allowing people to reserve medical-grade masks and personal protective equipment for health care professionals.

Signage for Your Dealership

How does this impact Virginia’s franchised auto dealerships?

All patrons (meaning customers) aged five and over must wear face masks when entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time in the dealership. This patron requirement applies to both essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail, meaning it applies to customers in both the service and sales/finance departments. Some customers may refuse to comply. Consult your organization’s legal counsel for what to do if a customer refuses to comply.

What about employees in the service department?

Service employees must wear a face covering at their place of employment. This is a change from the previous requirement that only customer-facing employees need to wear a face covering.

What about employees in the sales department?

Sales and finance employees must wear a face covering at their place of employment. Again, this is a change from a previous requirement that only those employees that are customer-facing need to wear a face covering.

What are the exceptions to wearing a mask?

Individuals do not need to wear a mask while eating or drinking, while exercising, if they have trouble breathing or are unable to remove a mask without help, or if their health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering.

What happens if you don’t comply?

For those unwilling to abide by the Executive Order, the Governor said enforcement will be through the Virginia Department of Health rather than state or local police. The restrictions aren’t about putting people in jail; rather, it’s about the health of everyone in the Commonwealth.

But that does not remove the threat to you and your business. Failure to comply could result in store closure. Disgruntled employees or individuals outside your organization may be eager to catch businesses pushing the envelope and/or breaking the rules, making your adherence to the Governor's orders and other government requirements paramount. Governor Northam also stated he would discuss enforcement ideas — such as a civil fine — with the General Assembly, which could meet in a special session this summer

The content on this webpage is not intended as legal advice. If you require legal advice, please contact your attorney. The content on this webpage reflects information at the time the content was created and, given the changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, is subject to change at any time.