If you don't live in a state, city, or county that currently requires face coverings when in public, you likely have seen signs from stores and local establishments requiring them. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an end in-sight as to when we will no longer need these face coverings. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
In order to help you stay informed, we've compiled a list.
States Requiring Face Coverings (to some degree):
Residents are recommended to wear cloth face coverings worn in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
3. Arkansas - Required for restaurants reopening for dine-in. All staff who come in contact with patrons must wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Staff in the back of house are encouraged to wear a face mask. All staff are required to wear gloves. Gloves shall be changed out between each customer, customer group, or task. Patrons must wear a face covering upon entrance and while in the restaurant until the food or drink is served, and may be refused service if not wearing a mask.
Required for reopening gyms and fitness centers. Employees must wear a face mask at all times. Patrons must wear a mask except when actively exercising.
Residents are encouraged to wear a cloth mask when in public and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
4. Colorado - Workers in critical businesses and critical government functions in which workers interact in close proximity with other employees or with the public must (1) wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health; and (2) to the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods if gloves are provided to workers by their employer.
5. Connecticut - The state's mask requirement applies to any residents who are in a public place, over age 2 and can't maintain at least six feet of distance from other people. The same rules apply to people who use public transportation, taxis or rideshare services.
People who refuse to wear masks aren't required to provide proof that they're medically exempt.
6. Delaware - Employers must provide employees with a face covering to wear while working in areas open to the general public and areas in which coming within 6 feet of other staff is likely. All restaurants must require that all employees who interact with customers (including, without limitation, delivery personnel) to wear a face covering while working. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings as well as hand sanitizer for their employees. All employees are strongly encouraged to use personal face coverings until their employer provides a face covering.
All individuals must wear a face covering in specified public places, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. A business must decline entry to an individual refusing to wear, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods, or the individual has a medical condition that would prevent them from mask use.
7. District of Columbia -Masks or mouth coverings are required for customers at retail food businesses. Retail food businesses must also procure and provide masks and gloves to their employees who come in close contact with the public, “if feasible.”
Masks or mouth coverings are also required for the following: hotel workers, hotel guests, and hotel visitors; individuals using taxis, ride shares, and private transportation providers; and workers and customers of food sellers. Food sellers, hotels, taxis, ride-sharing companies, and private transportation companies must procure and require employees and independent contractors to wear gloves and masks and instruct on proper use.
Recommended for everyone: wear a cloth mask if feeling ill, caring for someone who is ill, or visiting a healthcare provider’s office.
Employees of and individuals using public transportation are strongly encouraged to wear masks or mouth coverings.
8. Georgia -Required for businesses permitted to reopen. Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, estheticians, hair designers, and massage therapists reopening must comply with sanitation requirements, including providing personal protective equipment as available and appropriate to the function and location of each worker within the business.
Recommended for the general public. Everyone should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
9. Hawaii - Customers at essential businesses are required to wear cloth face coverings. Employees who interact with customers or goods at those businesses must wear them, too. Those measures are in addition to keeping six feet of distance and limiting the number of customers allowed in an establishment.
Anyone who violates those rules could face a fine up to $5,000 or up to a year in prison if found guilty, according to Gov. David Ige's order.
10. Illinois - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week mandated that all Illinois residents must wear a face mask "when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance," according to NBC 5 Chicago. "Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
11. Indiana - Face coverings are required for restaurant employees and personal care services employees.
Cloth face coverings recommended for residents in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain
12. Kentucky - Businesses must provide PPE to employees and ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that their employees wear a cloth mask. A business need not require an employee to wear a mask when masking would create a serious health or safety hazard to the employee or when the employee is working alone in an enclosed space. Businesses must ensure that employees whose job duties include touching items often touched by others (e.g., credit cards/cash, paper, computers) wear gloves that are regularly replaced.
13. Louisiana - All employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.
Cloth face coverings recommended in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
14. Maine - Individuals must wears a cloth face covering in public settings when other social distancing is difficult.
Employers in settings that are not typically accessible to the public may determine the persons who should wear a cloth face covering at their workplace and shall permit any employee who wants to wear a covering to do so.
15. Maryland - Commuters and employees must wear face coverings while using Maryland public transit, according to Gov. Larry Hogan's order.
Employees and customers over age 9 must wear face coverings inside essential businesses, though adults accompanying young children should make an effort to get them to wear a mask if they're in an essential business.
16. Massachusetts - Residents over age 2 must wear face coverings in public settings, including in essential businesses and on public transportation. The requirement applies to both customers and employees of essential businesses. If a customer refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons, the business may decline entry.
17. Michigan - All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers. Food selling establishments and pharmacies must require checkout employees to wear face coverings.
Any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth when in any enclosed public space.
18. Minnesota -Workers at reopening retail establishments who may have limited interaction with customers for purposes of curbside or outdoor pickup or delivery must wear a non-medical cloth mask.
Cloth face coverings recommended in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
19. Nebraska -Restaurants permitted to reopen for dine-in must require all employees to wear masks.
Residents are recommended to wear a cloth face covering in public places where they cannot stay 6 feet away from others.
20. New Hampshire -Retail, restaurant, golf course, and personal care services employees must wear cloth face coverings at all times when in the retail facility and in public locations or shared staff areas (e.g. break rooms), even if other individuals are not immediately present.
Employees of other essential businesses and organizations and those that are re-opening all or a portion of their operations are strongly recommended to wear a cloth face covering while at work and in potential close contact with others.
21. New Jersey - The first state to introduce such a mandate, New Jersey requires that customers and employees wear face coverings at essential businesses and construction sites. Businesses must provide them to employees and deny entry to any customers who refuse to wear them (though the customer can still pick up their food or medicine by alternate, contact-free means).
Employees and commuters on New Jersey public transit and private carriers must wear face coverings while on trains, buses and light rails. If they refuse to wear them, they may be denied entry.
22. New York - All residents over age 2 must wear masks or face coverings when they're in public and social distancing isn't possible (though maintaining at least six feet of distance is always preferred).
The state has a law on the books banning masks and "unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration" in public, though it allows masks if police or officials grant permission to wear them. In this case, residents have Gov. Andrew Cuomo's permission to wear masks.
23. North Dakota - Required for personal care services employees.
Recommended for everyone else. Employees and the public should wear face coverings especially in settings where social distancing may be difficult to maintain. Employers should encourage use of face coverings by employees and contracted workers whose duties require close contact (within 6 feet for ten minutes or more) with other employees and/or the public.
24. Ohio - Face coverings required for employers and employees; the guidance lists exceptions. Face coverings are recommended for all people (including clients/customers) who can safely wear them
25. Pennsylvania - Essential businesses must provide masks for their employees and require them to wear the masks, according to the order from Pennsylvania's Department of Health. Customers at these businesses must wear masks while on the premises or be denied entry.
26. Puerto Rico - People are required to wear face coverings when in public spaces.
27. Rhode Island - Employees of essential businesses are required to wear cloth face coverings unless that employee can continually maintain at least six feet of distance from other employees. All employees, though, must wear face coverings when entering and exiting the building or using common areas. Businesses must provide materials for employees to make those masks.
Gov. Gina Raimondo's order doesn't require that customers wear masks while inside essential businesses, but it encourages businesses to post their own mask requirements.
28. Texas - All employees of reopened retail businesses must wear face coverings.
29. Utah - Wear a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth in any place of public accommodation, including retail establishments and grocery stores, and whenever social distancing is not possible.
Required for reopening during Moderate Risk phase for the following businesses: restaurants, retail, lodging, personal services, gyms and fitness centers.
30. Vermont - All businesses operating during the state of emergency must require employees to wear non-medical cloth face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a translucent shield or “sneeze guard” is acceptable in lieu of a mask.
31. Washington -Residents are recommended to wear cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
Low-risk construction: masks must be worn at all times by every employee on the work site.
32. West Virginia - Reopening personal care services (barbershops, salons, etc.) must ensure all employees wear masks.
Restaurants open for takeout, or that will reopen for dining when the state permits, must require all employees to wear face coverings at all times.
Small businesses (10 or fewer employees) are recommended to require their employees who have contact with customers to wear a mask and gloves.33. Wyoming -
Required for gym employees. Required for personal care services employees and patrons.
Grocery store and retail personnel are recommended to follow CDC guidance regarding wearing face coverings while at work. Customers should be encouraged to wear face coverings while in the store.
States with cities requiring face masks include:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
Retailers requiring employees and customers to wear masks while inside their establishments:
2. Family Fare and Supermercado Nuestra Familia
3. Fresh Market
6. Martin's Super Markets
9. Whole Foods
(Note: this list may not be exhaustive and may not be up to date past 5/5/20 - for reference only. For detailed information, visit your local government websites.)