Effective early this week, the state of Virginia imposed still even more stringent face-covering requirements on all businesses across the state. The new mandate, which went into effect on December 14, requires all individuals age five or older to wear face masks at all times in settings shared by others – indoors or outdoors – when unable to safely distance. Beyond that however, the new Executive Order #72, issued by Governor Ralph Northam on December 10, also applies to all businesses and all of a business’ workforce, whether working in customer-facing areas or not. Whereas the previous Virginia face-covering requirement only required employees of essential retail businesses or those working in customer-facing areas to wear a face covering, the new provisions apply across the board to all employers and all employees thereof. Violations of the business restrictions imposed by the Order, which will remain in effect until January 31, 2021, are punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000, so be sure your employees are in compliance at all times.