Californians are now required to wear face masks in most public settings, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Governor Newsom said Thursday that the order came in response a growing body of research showing face masks’ effectiveness and the need for more precautions as the state reopens the economy.
“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered, putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease” Newsom said. “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.”
The guidance requires the use of a face mask in most situations outside the home, including inside businesses and while waiting in a line to enter, going to a healthcare facility, and riding public transportation. At work, Californians must cover up if interacting with the public or working in a setting other people may enter, while walking in common areas like hallways, or when physical distancing isn’t possible. Children younger than 2 are exempt along with people with disabilities. Restaurant patrons, meanwhile, will not be required to wear masks so long as they are six feet apart from other tables; nor will those exercising or incarcerated.
The new mandate comes as California experiences record numbers of new coronavirus as the state increasingly reopens for business. Wednesday, the state topped 4,000 cases in a single day for the first time since the pandemic began. The Newsom administration did not address how the new requirement will be enforced or if Californians who violate the order will be subject to citations or other penalties.