Exceptions to Ige’s statewide mask rule

  • IGE

Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation issued Monday makes it mandatory for all individuals within the state to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when in public settings.

The exceptions to this requirement are:


• Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering might pose a health or safety risk to the individual.

• Children younger than the age of 5.

• Workers at a desk or work station who are not actively engaged with other employees, customers or visitors, provided that the individual’s desk or workstation is not located in a common or shared area and physical distancing of at least 6 feet is maintained.

• While eating, drinking, smoking, as permitted by applicable law.

• While within private automobiles, provided the only occupants are members of the same household, living unit or residence.

• While receiving services allowed under a state or county order, rule or proclamation that require access to that individual’s nose or mouth.

• Where federal or state safety or health regulations, or a financial institution’s policy, based on security concerns, prohibit the wearing of facial coverings.

• Individuals actively communicating with the hearing impaired (e.g., signing or lip reading).

• First responders (police, firefighters, lifeguards, etc.) to the extent that wearing face coverings might impair or impede the safety of the first responder in the performance of his/her duty.

• While outdoors when physical distance of 6 feet from other individuals who are not members of the same household, living unit or residence can be maintained at all times, and as specifically allowed by a provision of a state or county COVID-19 related order, rule or proclamation.

The emergency proclamation requires an owner or operator of any business or operation to refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering, unless an exception applies.

Businesses or operations may adopt stricter protocols or requirements related to face coverings and face shields. Businesses or operations not enforcing this rule could be subject to enforcement, including fines and mandatory closure.


“Face covering” is defined in the proclamation as a tightly woven fabric without holes, vents, or valves that is secured to the head with either ties or straps, or simply wrapped and tied around the wearer’s nose and mouth. Face coverings must comply with the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as such recommendations might change from time to time.

Face shields, whether Plexiglas or clear plastic, are not permitted as substitutes for face coverings unless an exception to the face covering requirement applies. Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering because of medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering could pose a health or safety risk to the person, or other exception, are encouraged to wear a face shield instead.

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