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State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements

27 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico mandate face coverings in public

Man walking outside in rainy fall weather. He is wearing a face mask and carrying an umbrella

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Twenty-seven state governments currently require people to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of COVID-19. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have mask orders in place.

To date, 12 states that had mask mandates covering the general public have lifted them, nine by gubernatorial order (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and Wyoming), two by legislative action (Kansas and Utah) and one by court order (Wisconsin). 

State mandates vary in details (for example, exemptions for children range in cutoff age from 2 to 12), but broadly speaking, they require masks in indoor public spaces such as restaurants and stores, on public transit and ride-hailing services, and outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Generally, there are exceptions for people with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent the use of face coverings, and allowances for certain situations where masking is difficult, unnecessary or hinders communication (say, when swimming, eating, exercising alone, getting dental treatment or speaking with a hearing-impaired person). Some state rules also include exemptions for people attending religious services.

Here’s where each state stands on the use of face masks, as of April 12.


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Alabama 

Statewide order: No

Alabama's mask mandate expired April 9. The state's latest COVID-19 public health order encourages but does not require residents to wear masks when within 6 feet of someone from another household. Some cities, including Birmingham and Montgomery, maintain local mask mandates.

Learn more: Read Alabama’s new "Safer Apart" health order.

Alaska 

Statewide order: No

Alaska's Department of Health Social Services “strongly encourages the wearing of masks in public,” but the state has not required it. Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, and the capital of Juneau are among several cities have have imposed local mandates.

Learn more: Read the Alaska health department's mask guidance.

Arizona 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order March 25 lifting all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and barring cities and counties from enforcing mask mandates except in government buildings and on public transit. Previously, Arizona required face-covering for employees and customers of barbers and cosmetologists, and several jurisdictions, including the state's largest counties, had full mask orders in place.

Learn more: Read Ducey's order ending COVID-19  restrictions.

Arkansas 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted his 8-month-old mask mandate March 31, saying the state had met targets for COVID-19 case counts set out several weeks earlier as a basis for rescinding the order. The state Department of Health continues to recommend that Arkansans wear masks in public settings when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their households. 

Learn more: Read the Arkansas health department's mask guidance.

California 

Statewide order: Yes

Californians have been required since June 18 to mask up in “most settings outside the home.” The policy was updated June 29 to exempt children under age 2.

Learn more: Read the California Department of Public Health's guidance for using face coverings.

Colorado 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Jared Polis extended the state's mask mandate until May 3 but eased rules for areas with very low COVID-19 rates. The order requires Coloradans age 11 and over to wear masks in indoor public spaces where there are 10 or more people who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown. That requirement is lifted for counties at "Level Green" of the state's color-coded COVID-19 response system, meaning they have 35 or fewer cases per 100,000 people. In certain settings, including schools, state government buildings, long-term care facilities, and hair and nail salons, masking is still required statewide, regardless of the local transmission rate.

Learn more: Read Colorado’s latest mask order and check your county's COVID-19 status.

Connecticut 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Ned Lamont's mask order issued April 17 remains in force. It requires a mask or face covering for “any person in a public place in Connecticut who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person.” It does not cover children under age 2, or children generally when they are in a child-care setting.

Learn more: Read Connecticut's mask order.

Delaware 

Statewide order: Yes

A Dec. 3 update of Gov. John Carney's state-of-emergency declaration requires Delawareans to wear face coverings in all public settings and at private indoor gatherings where people from other households are present, regardless of their ability to maintain physical distance. The order, which tightened a prior mask mandate issued in April and revised in September, exempts children below kindergarten age.

Learn more: Read Delaware's guidance for face coverings.

District of Columbia 

Citywide order: Yes

People are required to wear masks when they leave home and “are likely to come into contact with another person” under Mayor Muriel Bowser’s July 22 order, which expanded an existing mask mandate. The new version lowers the exemption age from 9 to 2; extends the rule to common areas of apartment and condo complexes; and requires all businesses to deny entry to people without masks.

Learn more: Read the District’s mask order.

Florida 

Statewide order: No

Florida recommends but does not require face coverings for the general public. Several cities and large counties, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough (which includes Tampa), have mask requirements, but local governments are barred from assessing fines and penalties for noncompliance under a Sept. 25 executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Learn more: Read Florida’s public health advisory.

Georgia 

Statewide order: No

People are “strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable” outside the home. Gov. Brian Kemp revised his coronavirus health order Aug. 15 to allow local governments to impose limited mask mandates, as Atlanta and several other jurisdictions have sought to do, reversing a month-old ban on such local orders. Cities and counties that have 100 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people can enforce mask requirements on public property.

Learn more: Read Georgia’s emergency public health order.

Hawaii 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. David Ige's COVID-19 emergency proclamation requires face covering for customers at or waiting to enter a place of business and for employees who have contact with customers or goods.

Learn more: Read Hawaii's updated COVID-19 emergency order.

Idaho 

Statewide order: No

Idaho's capital and largest city, Boise, requires masks in public, as do several other cities. The state's Stay Healthy Guidelines, updated on June 13, recommend that employers “identify how personal use items such as masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required by employees, vendors, and/or patrons."

Learn more: Read Idaho's COVID-19 resource page.

Illinois 

Statewide order: Yes

Anyone who is over the age of 2 and medically able to wear a mask must do so in a public place when unable to maintain 6-foot distancing.

Learn more: Read Illinois’ guidance on public mask use.

Indiana 

Statewide order: No

The state's 8-month-old mask mandate became a "mask advisory" April 6. Hoosiers age 8 and up are encouraged to wear masks in all indoor public settings and outdoors when they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Face-covering remains mandatory in state buildings, K-12 schools and at COVID-19 vaccionation and testing sites. Some cities and counties, including Indianapolis, are keeping local mask orders in place.

Learn more: Read Gov. Eric Holcomb's executive order relaxing mask rules.

Iowa 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state’s mask mandate Feb. 7, issuing a new emergency order that drops rules on face-covering and social distancing in favor of encouraging “reasonable public health measures” to reduce COVID-19 transmission in public places and private gatherings.  It replaced a mid-November directive that Iowans age 2 and up wear masks when they are in indoor public spaces and within 6 feet of people from other households for 15 minutes or more. Local mask mandates remain in effect in several cities, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Learn more: Read Iowa’s latest public health order and mask guidance.

Kansas 

Statewide order: No

Kansas lawmakers revoked the state's mask requirement April 1, hours after Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order intended to extend it. A state law passed in March gave a panel of top legislators authority to overturn the governor's emergency orders. Kansas had a statewide mask rule in place for nine months, but it was not uniformly enforced due to another state law curbing Kelly's emergency powers, which allowed counties to opt out of the mandate. 

Learn more: Read the Kansas health department's mask guidance.

Kentucky 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Andy Beshear's executive order requires face covering for people “in situations that represent a high risk of COVID-19 transmission,” including most public settings. The mandate, issued in July, has been extended monthly, with the current order in force through the end of April. Children age 5 and under are exempt.

Learn more: Read the Kentucky health department's mask FAQs.

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Statue of chef in New Orleans wearing a face mask holding a sign that says "stop the spread-wear a mask"

Sophia Germer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A restaurant sign reminds people to wear a mask in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Louisiana 

Statewide order: Yes

Face-covering is required in indoor and outdoor public spaces when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of distance from people from other households, per a proclamation issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards on July 11 and extended through at least April 28. The mandate does not apply to children under 8 (although it encourages masking for those age 2 to 7).

Learn more: Read Louisiana's latest mask order.

Maine 

Statewide order: Yes

An executive order issued Nov. 4 by Gov. Janet Mills strengthens a state mask mandate that had been in effect since May 1. The new order requires face-covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces "regardless of the ability to maintain physical distancing." Prior orders did not apply to all public places and included an exception where distancing was possible. 

Learn more: Read Maine's updated mask order.

Maryland 

Statewide order: Yes

Effective July 31, Marylanders over age 5 must wear masks in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when they are "unable to consistently maintain six feet of distance" from others. The order by Gov. Larry Hogan expands the state's previous mask mandate, in force since April 18, which applied to retail and food-service establishments and had an age cutoff of 9.

Learn more: Read Maryland's mask order.

Massachusetts 

Statewide order: Yes

As of Nov. 6, face coverings are required for people over age 5 in any public space, indoors or out, whether or not they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The new order, issued Nov. 2 by Gov. Charlie Baker, tightens a mandate in effect since May that required masks “where social distancing is not possible.”

Learn more: Read Massachusetts' revised mask order and guidance on face-covering

Michigan 

Statewide order: Yes

Masks are required for people over age 5 and up in most public settings under an order issued Oct. 5 and renewed Oct. 29 by the state Department of Health and Human Services. It replaced a similar mandate by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that was thrown into doubt when Michigan's Supreme Court invalidated the state law under which Whitmer had been issuing emergency public-health order.

Learn more: Read Michigan's current mask order.

Minnesota 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Tim Walz’s mask order took effect July 25, superseding a prior mandate that applied to employees at stores, restaurants and other consumer-facing businesses. Children age 5 and under are exempt. People are not required to wear a mask when working alone in an office or cubicle with walls above face height when social distancing is maintained, but must keep one handy for interacting with others.

Learn more: Read Minnesota’s mask order and a state FAQ on the face covering rules.

Mississippi 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Tate Reeves lifted Mississippi’s statewide mask requirement on Sept. 30, about two months after it was imposed. He subsequently issued a new order mandating masks in indoor public settings in counties with high COVID-19 case rates. That directive, which eventually covered most of the state, expired March 3. Face-covering is still required at K-12 schools.

Learn more: Read Mississippi’s mask order repeal.

Missouri 

Statewide order: No

The state Department of Health and Senior Services recommends wearing a face covering in public. Gov. Mike Parson has said he does not intend to implement a statewide requirement. Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and several other cities and counties have local mask mandates.

Learn more: Read the Missouri health department's mask guidance.

Montana 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Greg Gianforte rescinded the state’s mask mandate Feb. 12. The previous order, issued by then-Gov. Steve Bullock in July, directed Montanans age 5 and up to wear masks in indoor public spaces and at outdoor gatherings where social distancing could not be maintained. Gianforte linked lifting the mandate to progress in Montana’s vaccination program and passage of a state law shielding businesses and health care providers from lawsuits by employees and customers who contracted the coronavirus. Some counties, including Gallatin, Missoula, and Lewis & Clark, maintain local mask orders.

Learn more: Read a statement from the governor’s office on lifting the mask mandate.

Nebraska 

Statewide order: No

Masks are required for both clients and staff at barbershops, salons and other personal-care businesses. They are recommended for restaurant employees and for the general population when in public. Lincoln and Omaha have enacted broader local orders that require face-covering in most indoor public places. Other cities and towns have weighed mask orders but Gov. Pete Ricketts has questioned whether they have authority to enact them under state law.

Learn more: Read the Nebraska health department's COVID-19 guidance for the public.

Nevada 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Steve Sisolak instituted a mandatory face-covering policy on June 24, requiring most people over age 9 to wear a mask “in any public space.”

Learn more: Read Nevada's mask order.

New Hampshire  

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Chris Sununu's emergency order requires people over age 5 to wear masks in all public spaces, indoors and out, if they are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their households. K-12 schools are exempt. The order expands a previously patchwork set of mask rules that applied only to large gatherings and certain businesses. It took effect on Nov. 20 and has been extended through at least April 15.

Learn more: Read the New Hampshire health department's mask guidance.

New Jersey 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order of July 8 mandates face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces for anyone over age 2. Separate state orders require construction and agricultural workers to wear masks on the job.

Learn more: Read New Jersey's mask order.

New Mexico 

Statewide order: Yes

New Mexico has had a mask requirement in place since May 16. Unlike in most states, it applies to people while exercising in gyms, a restriction Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham added in July. She has ordered that the state “aggressively enforce” the rule, with violators subject to a $100 fine and retailers required to ensure customers are wearing masks.

Learn more: Read New Mexico's mask order.

New York 

Statewide order: Yes

New York has had a mask requirement since April 17. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's order applies to anyone over age 2 who can “medically tolerate a face covering” when in a public place and unable to maintain social distancing.

Learn more: Read New York's mask order.

North Carolina 

Statewide order: Yes

North Carolinians over age 5 are required to wear a face covering in any indoor space where someone from another household is present, regardless of physical distancing, and outdoors if it is not possible to stay 6 feet from others. The mask mandate, issued by Gov. Roy Cooper in June and expanded in November, is in effect until at least April 30. 

Learn more: Read North Carolina's latest mask order and face-covering FAQs.

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North Dakota

Statewide order: No

Gov. Doug Burgum instituted a statewide mask requirement on Nov. 14 amid a rapid rise in the state’s COVID-19 case count. After extending the mandate in December, Burgum allowed it to lapse when it expired Jan. 18, citing a decline in case numbers. Most of North Dakota’s largest cities, including Fargo, Bismarck and Minot, have face-covering orders in place. 

Learn more: Read the North Dakota Department of Health’s mask guidance.

Ohio

Statewide order: Yes

The state mandate took effect July 23, replacing an alert system in which mask orders were imposed on individual counties deemed to be at high risk for coronavirus spread. Gov. Mike DeWine’s directive applies to people age 10 and older when in public indoor spaces and outdoors when unable to maintain 6-foot social distancing.

Learn more: Read a statement from the governor’s office announcing the mask order.

Oklahoma

Statewide order: No

Gov. Kevin Stitt, who recovered from a bout of COVID-19 in July, has called on Oklahomans to wear masks in public but rejected calls for a state mandate. A few cities, including Tulsa, have adopted mask requirements.

Learn more: Read the Oklahoma health department's COVID-19 guidance.

Oregon

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Kate Brown implemented a state mask rule on July 1, covering indoor public spaces. It has since been expanded to cover all workplaces, including offices, and outdoor businesses and public spaces when physical distancing is not possible. Children under 5 are exempt, but the state recommends face coverings for children as young as 2. Indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Learn more: Read the Oregon Health Authority's mask requirements.

Pennsylvania

Statewide order: Yes

Pennsylvania mandates "universal face coverings" under a Nov. 18 order from state Health Secretary Rachel Levine, which strengthened a mask order that had been in effect since July 1. The new policy requires people age 2 and up to cover their faces indoors (including in homes) when people from other households are present, even if they can stay 6 feet apart, and at all times outdoors when unable to maintain physical distancing.

Learn more: Read Pennsylvania's updated mask order and an FAQ on the policy.

Puerto Rico

Territory-wide order: Yes

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has extended his COVID-19 health order, including a requirement that Puerto Ricans mask up in public places, until at last May 9. The island's face-covering mandate was put in place last May by then-Gov. Wanda Vázquez.

Learn more: Read a statement from the governor's office on Puerto Rico's extended COVID-19 restrictions (Spanish).

Rhode Island

Statewide order: Yes

Masks have been mandatory since May 8 under Gov. Gina Raimondo's executive order, which requires face coverings for people over age 2 in retail outlets, and in other public spaces unless they “can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other people."

Learn more: Read Rhode Island's mask order.

South Carolina

Statewide order: No

Numerous counties and cities, including Charleston and Columbia, have instituted mask mandates. Gov. Henry McMaster has encouraged masking but says a state requirement would be unenforceable. State guidelines encourage reopening businesses to have employees wear masks, “especially when in settings in which social distancing is not feasible."

Learn more: Read the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's COVID-19 guidelines for businesses.

South Dakota

Statewide order: No

The South Dakota Department of Health recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."

Learn more: Read the state health department's COVID-19 information page.

Tennessee

Statewide order: No

An April 2020 executive order from Gov. Bill Lee urges people to “wear face coverings in public places,” as do state health guidelines. Jurisdictions covering much of the state's population have local mask mandates, including the counties that are home to Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Learn more: Read Tennessee's COVID-19 health guidelines.

Texas

Statewide order: No

Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state's 8-month-old mask mandate March 10. His new directive says Texans are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks in public but it bars local governments from enforcing their own face-covering mandates.

Learn more: Read Texas’ mask order repeal.

Utah

Statewide order: No

Utah's 5-month-old face-covering mandate ended April 10 under state legislation that phases out various COVID-19 public health restrictions. Masks are still required in K-12 schools and at gatherings of 50 or more people where social distancing is not possible. Local governments may set their own mask rules, and face-covering is mandated in public places in Salt Lake City.

Learn more: Read Utah's state law curbing mask mandates and other pandemic emergency orders.

Vermont

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Phil Scott’s mask directive took effect Aug. 1 and has been extended several times since. It applies to Vermonters age 2 and up whenever they are in public settings, indoors or outdoors, “wherever close contact is unavoidable.”

Learn more: Read Vermont’s mask order and face-covering guidance.

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Man and woman in Arlington, Virginia walk past a mural that says It Will Get Better while wearing a mask.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Shoppers are required to wear face masks in Arlington, Virginia.

Virginia

Statewide order: Yes

Virginians age 5 and up must wear masks in retail and commercial businesses and other indoor settings "shared with others," and outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their families, under an executive order by Gov. Ralph Northam that took effect in mid-December and was most recently extended Feb. 24. A previous mask order issued in May and amended in November only applied to indoor public settings.

Learn more: Read Virginia's latest mask order.

Washington

Statewide order: Yes

A state public health order that took effect June 26 requires mask use in indoor public settings and outdoors when 6-foot distancing cannot be maintained, for people age 5 and older. Gov. Jay Inslee's mask directives also mandate that businesses require employees to wear face coverings and deny entry to unmasked customers.

Learn more: Read Washington's Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings.

West Virginia

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Jim Justice tightened West Virginia's mask mandate on Nov. 14 to require that people age 9 and up wear face coverings at all times in indoor public spaces, except when in the act of eating or drinking at a restaurant. The previous order, which had been in effect since early July, allowed people to remove masks indoors if they could maintain adequate social distance from others.

Learn more: Read West Virginia's updated mask requirements.

Wisconsin

Statewide order: No

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers' mask mandate March 31. In a 4-3 vote on a case brought by Republican state legislators, the court ruled that Evers, a Democrat, overstepped his authority by repeatedly extending pandemic-related emergency orders without lawmakers’ approval. The governor had renewed the mask order several times since issuing it in August. Local face-covering rules remain in effect in several large jurisdictions, including the cities of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha and Dane County, which includes Madison.

Learn more: Read the Wisconsin health department's mask guidance.

Wyoming

Statewide order: No

Gov. Mark Gordon rescinded the state's 3-month-old mask mandate March 16. The state health department continues to recommend mask use in public places "when common-sense physical distancing cannot be maintained." A face-covering requirement remains in place for K-12 schools.

Learn more: Read Wyoming's latest public health order.

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