Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements

States, cities and counties have largely eased or ended mandates

spinner image Air travelers, some with face masks and others without, use the moving walkway toward their gate at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Tuesday April 19, 2022. (
Air travelers, some with face masks and others without, use the moving walkway at Midway International Airport in Chicago, 2022.
Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

The last statewide orders broadly requiring people to wear masks in indoor public places ended in early 2022. Several state and local governments continued to mandate face-covering in high-risk settings such as health care and long-term care facilities into 2023, but those orders have almost all lapsed. 

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

The U.S. government's nationwide mask order for public transit, commercial flights and transportation hubs such as airports and train stations formally expired May 11, 2023, with the end of federal public health emergency. It had not been enforced for more than a year due to an April 2022 court order. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend masking while on public transportation and at transportation hubs.

Over the course of the pandemic, 39 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia had orders at some point broadly requiring people to wear masks in public. Eleven states did not impose mandates at any point. Several states have moved via legislation or executive action to prevent local governments and school districts from doing so.

The Navaho Nation, the largest U.S. tribal nation, ended its mask mandate Jan. 20, 2023. The order had been in effect across the Navajo reservation, which covers more than 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, for nearly three years.

Some states now direct health care workers to follow CDC guidance on mask use in medical settings and nursing homes. In most places, business or private entities may set their own mask policies where there are no state, local or tribal requirements. Amid the rise of new coronavirus variants and seasonal spikes in respiratory illnesses generally, some hospitals and health systems have reinstituted mask requirements for staff and visitors, particularly in patient-care areas.


Alabama's mask mandate expired April 9, 2021. The state Department of Public Health recommends face-covering in public as part of its COVID-19 safety guidance. Municipal mask mandates in Birmingham and Montgomery expired in May 2021.

Learn more: Read Alabama's COVID-19 information page.


Mask orders covering state government facilities and the Alaska State Capitol building ended in May 2021. A mask mandate in Anchorage, the state's largest city, was rescinded the same month. The capital city of Juneau downgraded its indoor mask requirement to a recommendation in February 2022. 

Learn more: See the Alaska Department of Health's COVID-19 guidance.


Then-Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order in March 2021 lifting all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and restricting local governments' ability to impose and enforce face-covering orders. Ducey signed legislation April 25 that bars school districts and local governments from requiring anyone under age 18 to mask up without the consent of a parent or guardian. He also signed legislation May 20 that prohibits mask mandates in buildings run by state or local governments.

Learn more: Read the Arizona Department of Health Services' mask guidance.


Then-Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted his 8-month-old mask mandate March 31, 2021. Health officials continue to recommend that Arkansans wear masks in public when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their households. A state law barring local governments from imposing mask orders, enacted in April 2021, was struck down by an Arkansas judge later that year.

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


Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted California's general indoor mask mandate March 1, 2022. A mask order covering health care and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless and emergency shelters ended April 3, 2023.

Several Bay Area and Northern California jurisdictions require masking for staff (and, in some areas, visitors) at health care facilities during respiratory illness season, from early November through late April. Seasonal mandates in the city of San Francisco and Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties ended April 30.

Learn more: Read California's face-covering guidance.


Gov. Jared Polis ended Colorado’s statewide mandate May 14, 2021. Health care and long-term care facilities are directed to follow the CDC guidance on masking.  

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


Gov. Ned Lamont lifted Connecticut's general face-covering order for indoor public places on Feb. 28, 2022.  A mask requirement for health care settings, long-term care facilities and shelters ended April 15, 2022. The cities of New Haven and Bridgeport ended indoor mask mandates in early 2022.  

Learn more: Read Connecticut’s COVID-19 guidance.


Gov. John Carrey's indoor mask order was lifted Feb. 11, 2022. Staff at medical and long-term care facilities are directed to follow CDC face-covering guidelines.

Learn more: Read Delaware's face-covering guidance.

District of Columbia 

The District's order requiring masks for people over age 2 in most indoor public places ended March 1, 2022. Mandates for specific settings were phased out over the remainder of that year. The only current requirement is for masking in health care facilities when COVID-19 community levels are high, according to DC Health, the District's public-health agency. 

Learn more: Read the District's mask guidance.


A law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in May 2023 permanently prohibits private businesses and government entities from imposing mask mandates. Local governments and school systems were already barred from establishing mask rules and other COVID-19 restrictions under a May 2021 gubernatorial order.

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


Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order in August 2021 prohibiting local governments from imposing mask rules on private businesses. Mandates in Atlanta and Savannah that required most individuals to mask up in indoor public places were rescinded in late February.

An indoor mask mandate enforced in Athens and Clarke County during periods of high community spread was fully lifted in October 2022 as the county's COVID-19 emergency declaration expired. 

Learn more: Read the Georgia Department of Public Health's COVID-19 guidance.

See more Health & Wellness offers >


The state's indoor face-covering order, in place since April 2020, expired March 25, 2022. Previously, people age 5 and up are required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings.

Learn more: Read Hawaii's mask guidance.


Boise, Idaho's capital and largest city, dropped its mask mandate in May 2021, as did several other jurisdictions. Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order May 28, 2021, restoring local governments' authority to make their own mask rules, reversing a move by then-Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin to strip such local control in an order she issued while Little was at a conference out of state. 

Learn more: See Idaho's COVID-19 information site.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker eliminated the state's order requiring people to mask up in indoor public spaces Feb. 28, 2022. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lifted a similar citywide mandate the same day.

Pritzker lifted a face-covering order for health care settings Oct. 17. Masking is recommended at facilities in communities at high risk for COVID-19 spread. 

Learn more: See the Illinois Department of Public Health's COVID-19 resources.


The state's mask mandate became a "mask advisory" April 6, 2021. Face-covering is required for all people in state-run congregate facilities such as prisons, state hospitals and veterans homes.

Learn more: Read the Indiana Department of Health's COVID-19 control guidance.


Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state’s mask order in February 2021. The following May, she signed legislation barring local governments from compelling businesses to require masks. A 2021 law banning schools from imposing mask mandates was upheld in February 2024 by a federal appeals court.

Learn more: Read Iowa's COVID-19 prevention guidance.


Kansas lawmakers revoked the state's mask requirement April 1, 2021, hours after Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order intended to extend it, under a state law passed the previous month that gave a panel of top legislators authority to overturn the governor's emergency orders. Kansas City and Wyandotte County, which have a unified government, repealed their indoor mask mandate Dec. 16, 2021.

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


Kentucky's general mask mandate ended June 11, 2021, along with the state's remaining COVID-19 health restrictions for the general public.

Learn more: Read the Kentucky Department of Public Health's COVID-19 prevention and treatment guidance.



Then-Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted the state's general indoor mask order Oct. 27, 2021, as a delta-fueled spike in COVID-19 cases eased. The mandate, Louisiana's second of the pandemic, had been in effect since early August. New Orleans ended its citywide indoor mask mandate March 3, 2022.

Learn more: Read Louisiana's mask guidance.

spinner image Statue of chef in New Orleans wearing a face mask holding a sign that says "stop the spread-wear a mask"
A restaurant sign reminds people to wear a mask in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sophia Germer/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Maine has not had a mandate in place since late May 2021. The state is following the CDC recommendations for masking based on community COVID-19 impact. Portland lifted its citywide indoor mask order Feb. 17, 2022. 

Learn more: Read Maine's mask FAQs.


Then-Gov. Larry Hogan ended Maryland's statewide mask mandate along with all other COVID-19 emergency orders July 1, 2021. The state's two largest counties, Montgomery and Prince George's, and the city of Baltimore lifted indoor mask orders in early 2022.

Learn more: Read the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 guidance.


A mask mandate for health care and long-term care facilities, emergency shelters and prisons expired May 11 when the state and federal public health emergencies ended. 

The state's general face-covering order was lifted May 29, 2021. Boston and Springfield lifted citywide indoor mask mandates in early 2022.

Learn more: Read Massachusetts' guidance on face-covering.


Michigan lifted its general mask mandate June 22, 2021, and ended site-specific face-covering requirements in health care facilities, long-term care facilities, jails and shelters Feb. 16, 2023. The state continues to recommend all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, mask up in such "high-risk congregate settings." 

Learn more: Read Michigan's COVID-19 guidance.


Gov. Tim Walz ended the state’s general mask mandate May 14, 2021. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends masking "in some settings and situations," in accordance with CDC guidelines. Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Duluth lifted municipal mask orders in February 2022.

Learn more: Read the state health department's mask recommendations.


The Mississippi State Department of Health recommends face-covering in all indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. A statewide order mandating indoor masking in counties with high COVID-19 case rates expired in March 2021.

Learn more: Read Mississippi’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines.


The state Department of Health and Senior Services recommends that all people age 2 and older mask up in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. St. Louis County's indoor mask mandate ended Feb. 28, 2022. Kansas City and surrounding Jackson County lifted general mask orders in November 2021.

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


Gov. Greg Gianforte rescinded the state’s mask mandate Feb. 12, 2021, and signed legislation the following May invalidating local mask mandates, effectively ending face-covering orders in Gallatin, Missoula and other counties.

Learn more: Read Montana's COVID-19 guidance.


The state Department of Health and Human Services recommends people wear face coverings in public when unable to maintain social distancing. Local indoor mask orders in Omaha and Lincoln were lifted in February 2022.

Learn more: Read the Nebraska health department's guidance on COVID-19 and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.


Then-Gov. Steve Sisolak ended the state’s mask mandate Feb. 10, 2022. Before that, Nevadans over age 9 were required to mask up in indoor public places, regardless of their vaccination status, in counties that met the CDC criteria for high or substantial rates of COVID-19 transmission. 

Learn more: See the Nevada health department's COVID-19 page.

New Hampshire  

Gov. Chris Sununu allowed New Hampshire's the state's mask mandate to expire April 16, 2021, about six months after it was implemented. The cities of Keene and Nashua lifted mask mandates covering local indoor public facilities in February 2022.

Learn more: See New Hampshire's COVID-19 response page.

New Jersey 

Gov. Phil Murphy announced in April 2023 that the state had ended a mask requirement for health care facilities. He lifted New Jersey's general face-covering order May 28, 2021. The city of Newark lifted its indoor mask mandate March 2, 2022.

Learn more: Read New Jersey's mask guidelines.

New Mexico 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham lifted the state's indoor mask order Feb. 17, 2022. Mask mandates covering "congregate settings" such as hospitals, long-term care facilities and detention centers expired March 31, 2023, with the end of the state’s public health emergency.

Learn more: Read New Mexico's COVID-19 prevention toolkit.

New York 

A statewide mask requirement for staff and visitors at health care facilities, including nursing homes, expired Feb. 12, 2023, about a year after Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the state's general indoor mask order. Mandates covering public transit, homeless shelters and correctional facilities ended in September 2022.

Masks are required at public hospitals, health centers and nursing homes in New York City. The order covers staff and visitors and encompasses facilities operated by NYC Health + Hospitals, the municipal health system.

Learn more: Read New York's COVID-19 prevention guidance.

North Carolina 

Gov. Roy Cooper ended the state's general mask mandate May 14, 2021. Face-covering is no longer required in in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The city of Raleigh and Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg counties dropped local mask orders in early 2022.

Learn more: Read North Carolina's face-covering guidance.

Back to the top

North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Health recommends residents follow CDC masking guidance. There has been no statewide mandate since Jan. 18, 2021. 

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


The state's mask order expired June 2, 2021, as the Ohio Department of Health lifted most other pandemic health orders. 

Learn more: Read Ohio's mask and social distancing guidance.


Gov. Kevin Stitt called on Oklahomans to wear masks in public but rejected calls for a state mandate. Local mask mandates in the state's largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, ended April 30 and May 1, 2021, respectively.

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


Then-Gov. Kate Brown lifted the state's mask mandate March 12, 2022. A face-covering requirement for workers, patients and visitors at health care facilities ended April 3, 2023.

Learn more: Read Oregon's mask guidance.


Pennsylvania's mask mandate was rescinded June 28, 2021. The state Department of Health recommends that Pennsylvanians follow CDC face-covering guidelines. Philadelphia's most recent indoor mask order was lifted April 22, 2022. 

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

Puerto Rico 

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi lifted the territory's face-covering mandate for indoor public places March 10, 2022. The Department of Health rscinded mask requirements for health care and long-term care facilities May 11, when Pierluisi declared an end to Puerto Rico's COVID-19 emergency.

Learn more: Read the governor's order ending Puerto Rico’s state of emergency (Spanish).

Rhode Island

Gov. Dan McKee's mask-or-vaccine order — which mandated masking at large indoor businesses but gave smaller establishments an option to require either face-covering or proof of vaccination — expired Feb. 11, 2022, about two months after it went into effect. Masking remains mandatory for unvaccinated staff at health care facilities in communities where the weekly COVID-19 case count exceeds 50 per 100,000 people (as tracked at the Rhode Island Department of Health's COVID-19 data hub.

Learn more: Read the state health department’s COVID-19 guidance.

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order May 11, 2021, invalidating existing local face-covering rules in several jurisdictions. Columbia, the state's capital and second-largest city, repealed its indoor mask mandate in November 2021, and a face-covering order in surrounding Richland County expired in May 2022.

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

South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Health website directs users to CDC pages on masking and other steps to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

Learn more: Read the state health department's respiratory virus guidance.


Gov. Bill Lee did not impose a statewide mandate and signed legislation Nov. 12, 2021, that severely limits local governments' authority to enact their own mask rules. 

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


Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation in June 2023 that prohibits most state and local government bodies from imposing mask mandates (there are exceptions for health care, criminal justice and juvenile justice facilities and residential centers operated by state disability agencies). The law took effect Sept. 1. Abbott had largely barred face-covering mandates by executive order in July 2021, four months after he lifted an eight-month statewide mask requirement.

Learn more: Read a roundup of Texas’ mask policies.


Utah's order requiring masks in most public settings ended April 10, 2021, five months after it was issued, under a state law that phased out various COVID-19 public health restrictions. Indoor mask mandates implemented in Salt Lake and Summit counties in January 2022 were overturned by the state legislature.

Learn more: Read Utah's mask guidance.


Gov. Phil Scott lifted Vermont's mask mandate and all other COVID-19 restrictions June 15, 2021. 

Learn more: Read the Vermont Department of Health's COVID-19 guidance.

Back to the top


Then-Gov. Ralph Northam's order ending statewide COVID-19 restrictions took effect May 28, 2021, two weeks after he effectively lifted Virginia's universal mask mandate to align with CDC guidance at the time. 

spinner image Man and woman in Arlington, Virginia walk past a mural that says It Will Get Better while wearing a mask.
Shoppers are required to wear face masks in Arlington, Virginia.

Learn more: Read the Virginia Department of Health's mask guidance.


The state lifted its general indoor mask order March 12, 2022, about three weeks after a mandate for masking at large outdoor events ended. A mask mandate for people age 5 and older in health care, long-term care and correctional facilities was lifted April 3, 2023.

Learn more: Read the state Department of Health's mask guidance.

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice signed an executive order June 20, 2021, revoking the state's 11-month-old mask mandate. In its final weeks the directive had covered unvaccinated people age 9 and up in indoor public spaces.

Learn more: Read West Virginia's past face-covering orders.


The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers' mask mandate March 31, 2021. 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.

Indoor mask mandates in the city of Milwaukee and Dane County, which includes Madison, expired March 1, 2022. Milwaukee County, which continued to require face-covering on public buses and in the county courthouse into 2023, lifted all its mask orders May 9.

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


Gov. Mark Gordon rescinded the state's 3-month-old mask mandate March 16, 2021. The state health department recommends that residents "consider wearing a well-fitting face mask that covers your nose and mouth in indoor public settings." 

Learn more: Read the Wyoming Department of Health's COVID-19 guidance.

Back to the top

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?