On Thursday, June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Californians are required to wear face coverings in public spaces, effective immediately. According to the California Department of Public Health, the specific higher-risk situations in which face coverings are required are:

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
    • Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
    • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
    • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
    • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
    • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance;
  • Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended;
  • While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

Exemptions

Individuals exempt from wearing a face covering include persons age two or younger; persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability condition that prevents wearing a face covering; persons who are hearing impaired or are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired; persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines; persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary; persons seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided they can keep a distance of six or more feet away from those who are not members of their household; persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to keep a six foot distance from others; and persons who are incarcerated.

According to the Office of Public Affairs, Governor Newsom explained his reasoning for mandating face coverings in public spaces now: "Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California's strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing."

For more info see: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Guidance-for-Face-Coverings_06-18-2020.pdf