Mayor Expands Mask Requirements

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Patients in masks wait outside a clinic during the COVID-19 crisis.

Masks are required when people are on the streets where social distance cannot be maintained, according to the Mayor’s order extending the public health emergency. The order goes into effect Saturday, May 16.

The expansion to mask use was quietly included in the order, issued May 13. It says that residents and visitors to the District should wear masks while they are outside for essential travel, such as going to work or the grocery stores, or if they are working in a place with other people.

Masks are not required for essential travel or exercise when social distance can be maintained, or for kids under 9 years old. Those who cannot wear masks or face coverings due to a medical condition or who cannot remove it without assistance are exempt, as are District residents experiencing homelessness are also not required to wear masks.

Parents are strongly encouraged to have kids aged between 2 and 9years old wear masks.

Masks are also required for passengers on public transit, including Metrorail, buses and MARCH trains as well as in transit stations. They are also required for passengers of taxis and rideshare vehicles.

Masks were already required for essential workers and operators of public transit and rideshare vehicles and suggested by WMATA. The order expands the requirement to passengers of these vehicles.

You can see the full text of the Mayor’s Order here. Learn more about the District response to Coronavirus by