Skip to content

State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements

Following federal guidance, many states dropping mask orders for fully vaccinated people

a woman wearing a face mask goes grocery shopping

Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

En español

Eight state governments require people who are not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear face coverings in most indoor public settings. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have mask orders in place.

States that still have mask mandates have modified them to align with the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency said May 13 that people who are fully vaccinated — meaning they are at least two weeks past receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine — can safely forgo masks in most public settings, indoors and out.

Most states are following the federal guidance to maintain face-covering requirements for all people, regardless of vaccination status, in health care and long-term care facilities, prisons, homeless shelters, on public transit, and in transportation hubs like airports and stations.

To date, 31 states that had orders broadly requiring residents to wear masks in public have lifted them. Eleven states did not impose mask mandates at any point during the pandemic. Several states, including Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Iowa, have moved via legislation or executive action to prevent cities, counties and school districts from instituting their own mask rules.

Remaining state mandates vary in detail (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. Where masks are still required outdoors, the rules apply when people are 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.

Where there are no state or local requirements, businesses and other private entities may set their own mask policies.

Here’s where each state stands on the use of face masks, as of July 20.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to


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. Municipal mask mandates in Birmingham and Montgomery expired in May.

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


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, ended its face-covering order in May; the capital of Juneau continues to mandate masking for unvaccinated people in indoor public spaces and large crowds outdoors.

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


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.


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. 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 new state law set to take effect this summer bars local governments from imposing mask mandates.

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


Statewide order: Yes

Fully vaccinated Californians can go unmasked in most public places. Face-covering is required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and in their workplaces, and for all people age 2 and over in schools, health care and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, homeless and emergency shelters, and on public transit. Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous county, reinstated a local indoor mask mandate July 18 for all residents, regardless of vaccination status, due to a sharp rise in community spread.

Learn more: Read California's updated state face-covering guidance and a statement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on the new county mask order.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Jared Polis announced an end to Colorado’s mandate May 14, saying the state is shifting from “mask-wearing requirements to mask-wearing suggestions,” particularly for unvaccinated people in indoor settings. Face-covering may still be required for those without proof of vaccination in some settings, including medical facilities and prisons. 

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


Statewide order: Yes

Face coverings are required for unvaccinated people age 2 and over in indoor public places and recommended for that group in crowded outdoor spaces and at large events. Gov. Ned Lamont lifted the indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people May 19 and the outdoor requirement for all residents April 27 to align the state with CDC guidelines. Masks are required for all people in health care facilities and on public transit.

Learn more: Read Connecticut’s current mask guidance.


Statewide order: No

Gov. John Carney lifted Delaware's general mask order May 21. The state continues to require face-covering in schools, state-owned buildings and settings where the CDC recommends maintaining mask rules, such as on public transit and at health care facilities. Otherwise, masking is recommended for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Delawareans in public places. 

Learn more: Read Delaware's updated mask policy.

District of Columbia 

Citywide order: Yes

Mayor Muriel Bowser eliminated the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people May 17. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals over age 2 must still mask up in public places, indoors and outdoors. Face-covering remains required for all residents in schools, health care facilities and District government buildings and on public transit.

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


Statewide order: No

Florida recommends but has not required face coverings for the general public. Several cities and large counties, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough (which includes Tampa), had mask requirements, but Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order May 3 that suspended all local COVID-19 restrictions in the state, including mask rules, effective immediately.

Learn more: Read Florida’s order barring local mask mandates.


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.


Statewide order: Yes

Gov. David Ige lifted the state's outdoor mask mandate May 25. Hawaii's amended mask directive still requires residents ages 5 and up to wear a face-covering in most indoor public settings and requires businesses to refuse admission or service to maskless patrons in most circumstances.

Learn more: Read Hawaii's amended face-covering order.


Statewide order: No

Idaho's latest "Stay Healthy Guidelines," dated May 11, recommend that employers determine how masks and other protective gear “may be reqiured" in their places of business. Boise, Idaho's capital and largest city, dropped its mask mandate in May, as did several other juristictions. Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order May 28 restoring local governments' authority to make their own mask rules, reversing a move by 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: Read Idaho's updated COVID-19 health guidelines.


Statewide order: Yes

Masks are required for unvaccinated people in indoor public settings and outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and for all people in schools and day-care centers; "congregate facilities" such as nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons; health care facilities; and public transit vehicles and hubs. Those who are fully vaccinated people can go mask-free in other public settings under the fifth and final phase of the state's COVID-19 recovery plan, which took effect June 11.

Learn more: Read Illinois’ Phase 5 mask guidance.


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 vaccination and testing sites. Local mask orders in Indianapolis and surrounding Marion County expired June 7.

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


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. Reynolds signed legislation May 20 restricting schools' and local governments' authority to require masks.

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


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.


Statewide order: No

Kentucky's general mask mandate ended June 11 along with the state's remaining COVID-19 health restrictions. Masks are still required for people over age 5 in certain settings, including  schools and child-care centers, medical and long-term care facilities, prisons, homeless shelters, and on public transit.

Learn more: Read a statement from Gov. Andy Beshear's office on lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Back to the top

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.


Statewide order: No

Louisiana's general mask mandate, instituted by Gov. John Bel Edwards in July, was lifted April 28. Face-covering remains required at K-12 schools, early education centers, colleges and universities, health care facilities, and state government buildings, and on public transit. The mandate does not apply to children under 8, although it encourages masking for those age 2 to 7. Local governments and businesses may impose stricter requirements.

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


Statewide order: No

As of May 24, "Maine is no longer requiring masks in most settings," according to the state's face-covering FAQs. People ages 5 and older still must mask up indoors at schools and child-care facilities under Gov. Janet Mills' latest face-covering order. The state continues to recommend masking for people who are not yet fully vaccinated.  

Learn more: Read Maine's mask FAQs.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Larry Hogan ended Maryland's COVID-19 state of emergency and all related mandates and restrictions July 1. As of that date, there is no state mask order in effect "for any settings," the governor's office said. Businesses, local governments and school districts can institute their own face-covering policies, and masking remains the rule on public transportation and in transit hubs, per a federal mandate. 

Learn more: Read a statement and FAQs from the governor's office on ending Maryland's emergency orders.


Statewide order: No

The state's general face-covering order was lifted May 29 and replaced with an advisory recommending that people who are not fully vaccinated mask up in public places. Masks are still required for people age 5 and older in some settings, including K-12 schools, health care and long-term care facilities, emergency shelters, prisons and on public transportation. 

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


Statewide order: No

Michigan's mask mandate ended June 22 along with all COVID-related capacity limits on gatherings. The state had already lifted mask orders for fully vaccinated Michiganders in indoor public places and for all people outdoors. Face-covering will still be required to "protect vulnerable populations" in long-term care facilities, prisons and housing for farm workers. 

Learn more: Read Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's June 17 announcement on rescinding COVID restrictions.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Tim Walz ended the state’s mask mandate May 14, moving up his timetable in response to the CDC guidelines. He had previously announced plans to lift the order July 1 if at least 70 percent of Minnesota’s 16-and-older population was vaccinated. Masks are still required in schools and child care settings. Minneapolis and St. Paul lifted municipal indoor mask orders June 1 and 2, respectively.

Learn more: Read the governor’s announcement on lifting the mask order.


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.


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 and Columbia ended local mask mandates in May.

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


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 signed legislation in May invalidating local mask mandates, effectively ending face-covering orders in Gallatin, Missoula and other counties.

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


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. Broader local mask orders in Lincoln and Omaha were lifted in May.

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


Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a directive May 3 aligning the state with the CDC mask guidelines. State health officials said May 13 that this meant immediate adoption of the federal recommendation to end most face-covering requirements for fully vaccinated people. Otherwise, Sisolak’s June 2020 order mandating masking in public places for people over age 9 remains in place.

Learn more: Read Nevada’s original mask order and updated mask guidance.

New Hampshire  

Statewide order: No

Gov. Chris Sununu allowed the state's mask mandate to expire April 16, about six months after it was implemented. With the risk of COVID-19 transmission declining, the state Department of Public Health updated its face-covering guidance June 17, saying people who are not showing symptoms "can choose to go without face masks in most indoor and outdoor locations, regardless of vaccination status." Masking is still encouraged for people who are immunocompromised, or those at high risk of infection when in crowds indoors.

Learn more: Read New Hampshire's latest mask guidance.

New Jersey 

Statewide order: No

The state's general face-covering order was lifted May 28 along with a host of COVID-19 restrictions. Masking is encouraged in public places for people who are not fully vaccinated and required for all those over age 2 in schools, child-care centers, summer camps, state offices, and sites where the CDC mandates masking, such as health care facilities and on public transit. Masks are also required for unvaccinated employees in workplaces that are not open to the public.

Learn more: Read Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order lifting most COVID-19 restrictions.

New Mexico 

Statewide order: Yes

The state health department adjusted its public health emergency order May 14 to reflect the CDC guidance, dropping mask requirements for fully vaccinated New Mexicans. The mask mandate remains in effect for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people in public settings except when eating or drinking; exercising alone or with members of the same household, or attending a small outdoor gathering (generally 20 people or less) of fully vaccinated individuals.  

Learn more: Read New Mexico's updated mask order.

New York 

Statewide order: Yes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ended the state's COVID-19 emergency June 24, but New York continues to follow the CDC guidelines on face-covering, as it has since mid-May. Masks are required for unvaccinated people over age 2 when in a public place and for all people on public transit and in health care and long-term care facilities, detention centers and homeless shelters. Businesses and venues may require proof of vaccination to meet mask or social distancing directives. 

Learn more: Read Cuomo's statement on adopting the CDC's mask rules.

North Carolina 

Statewide order: No

Gov. Roy Cooper ended the state's general mask mandate May 14. Face-covering is still recommended for unvaccinated people, and for all people in large venues, but is only required in schools, child-care facilities, children’s camps, and settings designated by the CDC for continued masking, such as hospitals and transit hubs. Where masks are required, children under age 5 are exempt.

Learn more: Read North Carolina's order lifting most mask requirements and its face-covering FAQs.

Back to the top

Save 25% when you join AARP and enroll in Automatic Renewal for the first year. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.

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. 

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


Statewide order: No

The state's mask mandate expired June 2 as the Ohio Department of Health lifted most other pandemic health orders. COVID-19 safety precautions remain in place in nursing homes and other group residential settings where there is heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus. State officials recommend that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks indoors.

Learn more: Read Gov. Mike DeWine's statement on ending COVID-19 health orders.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Kevin Stitt has 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, respectively.

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


Statewide order: No

Gov. Kate Brown lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including Oregon's mask mandate, on June 30 as the state neared a target of 70 percent of adult residents having received at least one vaccine dose. Per federal guidance, face-covering remains required in "specialized settings" where enhanced precautions "will be necessary for an additional period of time," including medical and correctional facilities and public transit. 

Learn more: Read Brown's order rescinding COVID-19 restrictions.


Statewide order: No

Pennsylvania's mask mandate, implemented in April 2020, was rescinded June 28. Face-covering is required in health care facilities, group residential settings such as long-term care facilities, prisons and homeless shelters, and on public transit, as directed by the CDC. 

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

Puerto Rico

Territory-wide order: Yes

Masks are required in public places indoors for people who are not fully vaccinated and for all Puerto Ricans in health care facilities by order of the Department of Health, to which Gov. Pedro Pierluisi ceded authority for establishing COVID-19 protocols in early July. Children under age 2 are exempt.

Learn more: Read a statement from the governor's office on Puerto Rico's updated health order (Spanish).

Rhode Island

Statewide order: No

Gov. Dan McKee terminated the state's mask mandate along with several other COVID-19 health orders in a July 6 executive order. The Rhode Island Department of Health continues to recommend face-covering for people who are not fully vaccinated when indoors with people from outside their household and outdoors in crowded settings.

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

South Carolina

Statewide order: No

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order May 11 prohibiting local governments and school districts from requiring masks, invalidating local rules in Charleston, Columbia and other jurisdictions. The new order encourages South Carolinians who have not been fully vaccinated to wear masks in public settings but says mandates "are no longer necessary or appropriate to address and mitigate the existing public health threats."

Learn more: Read South Carolina's order banning mask mandates.

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.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Bill Lee did not impose a statewide mandate and in late April issued an executive order barring local mask orders in the 89 counties in which public health policies are directed by the state. The six counties with independent health departments — Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan — have all lifted local face-covering orders. 

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


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.


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.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Phil Scott lifted Vermont's mask mandate and all other COVID-19 restrictions June 15 as the state crossed a threshold of 80 percent of eligible residents receiving at least one vaccine dose. Masks are required for all people, fully vaccinated or not, on public transportation and in health care and long-term care facilities.

Learn more: Read the Vermont Department of Health's mask guide.

Back to the top

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.


Statewide order: No

Gov. Ralph Northam's order ending statewide COVID-19 restrictions took effect May 28, two weeks after he effectively lifted Virginia's universal mask mandate to align with the CDC guidance. Employees at retail stores, restaurants, gyms and other businesses directly serving customers are still required to wear masks; patrons are encouraged to do so. Face-covering also remains the rule in schools.

Learn more: Read Virginia's latest mask order.


Statewide order: Yes

Since mid-May the state has operated under the CDC guidance, eliminating most mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. Under Gov. Jay Inslee's June 30 reopening order, which ended social distancing rules and business capacity limits, unvaccinated Washingtonians age 5 and over are directed to wear masks in indoor public settings and workplaces, and face-covering is universally required in schools, health care facilities, prisons and homeless shelters.

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

West Virginia

Statewide order: No

Gov. Jim Justice signed an executive order June 20 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. Face-covering is still required in certain settings per CDC guidelines, including medical facilities and transportation hubs, and West Virginia businesses and school systems may require people to mask up. 

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


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 in the cities of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha and in Dane County, which includes Madison, were lifted between mid-May and early June.

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


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.

Back to the top

Join the Discussion

0 %{widget}% | Add Yours

You must be logged in to leave a comment.