With coronavirus cases continuing to increase as the state reopens, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order Thursday requiring Californians to wear face coverings in most common and public places, both indoors and outdoors, when six-foot social distancing is not possible.
Under Newsom’s rule, Californians must wear masks or face coverings in any room or enclosed area where individuals, other than those in one’s own household, are unable to physically distance.
Specifically, face coverings are required while waiting for or riding public transportations, taxis or ride-sharing vehicles; when inside or in line at any indoor public space; while inside healthcare facilities; and while inside common areas of buildings, including hallways, stairways, elevators and parking facilities. Likewise, the mask rule applies to when individuals are working anywhere where food is prepared or packaged; at work and interacting with any member of the public; or when working in a space visited by members of the public, even if no one is present at the time.
“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered,” Newsom said Thursday.
Masks are not required while eating or drinking at a restaurant or establishment that serves food or beverages or when receiving a service involving the nose or face. Likewise, the order does not mandate wearing masks when in engaged in outdoor work or recreation, including swimming, hiking, bicycling or running.
Children under the age of two are exempt from wearing a mask due to risk of suffocation. Also, individuals who are hearing impaired or have medical conditions, mental health conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt.
Additionally, the order exempts jail and prison inmates from the requirement to wear a mask. But, prisons and jails are instructed to create their own guidelines on wearing face coverings for both inmates and staff.