Is It Legal for a State to Require Face Masks
Face shielding alone is not recommended as sufficient face covering. Employees are encouraged to wear a face covering at work. The public is encouraged to wear a face covering in public places. Learn more: Read Massachusetts` latest guidelines on wearing face coverings. The undertakings referred to in points (2) or (3) may either introduce a general indoor mask requirement, a general vaccination requirement, or allow individuals to be masked or provide proof of vaccination. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly advised to wear a mask when outside their home. Many states eased or eliminated mask orders in May and June after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that fully vaccinated people — those who are at least two weeks after receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or Johnson & Johnson`s single-dose vaccine — can safely go without face coverings in most public places. Masks are also mandatory regardless of vaccination status in certain settings, including when using transportation services and in healthcare facilities.
For cities and counties that already had mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status, these local health orders will continue to apply in indoor public spaces prior to December 13, 2021. Governor Greg Gianforte lifted the requirement to wear a mask in the state on February 12, 2021. The previous order issued by the governor at the time. In July 2020, Steve Bullock asked Montanese ages 5 and older to wear masks indoors in public spaces and during outdoor gatherings where social distancing could not be maintained. Gianforte signed a bill in May that repeals local mask requirements, ending the face covering ordinance in Gallatin, Missoula and other counties. The national obligation to wear a mask was lifted with effect from 12.02.21. As a mitigation measure, wearing a mask is recommended. People in indoor public spaces are not required to wear masks, regardless of their ability to maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals or groups. In accordance with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors, and all people should wear masks indoors in areas of high or significant transmission. Wearing a mask is mandatory for all people over 5 years of age, regardless of their vaccination status, when in indoor public spaces.
“Indoor Spaces” means anywhere indoors, including, but not limited to, public and private workplaces, businesses, publicly accessible indoor areas, building lobbies, common or common areas, classrooms, elevators, bathrooms, transportation services and other indoor spaces where people may gather for any purpose. A person responsible for an indoor space must ensure that employees, contractors and volunteers comply with this rule inside and must make reasonable efforts to ensure that customers, guests, visitors and others comply with this rule inside. All restrictions on wearing masks and face coverings were lifted on 01.07.21. All persons over 5 years of age are required to wear a face covering (1) when using transportation services; (2) in schools; and (3) when using health services. Unvaccinated people are advised to wear a face covering in all indoor spaces outside their home. Companies reserve the discretion to require masks on their premises. Gov. Kevin Stitt urged Oklahomans to wear masks in public, but declined calls for a state term. Local mask mandates in the state`s largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, ended on April 30 and May 1, respectively.
The Department of Health and Social Services recommends that people wear face coverings in public if they are unable to maintain social distancing. An indoor mask requirement for the City of Lincoln and surrounding Lancaster County went into effect Aug. 26. Cal/OSHA ETS. In the workplace, fully vaccinated employees are not required to wear a face covering except in certain situations during outbreaks and in environments where required by the CRPD. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated workers if they are not wearing face coverings indoors. (Note that according to the CRPD`s national regulations on face coverings described above, indoor masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status.) Asymptomatic people can do without face masks in most indoor and outdoor spaces, alongside fully vaccinated people. Masks are always recommended in high-risk places, such as crowded indoor spaces. Companies may require the use of masks.
Can state or local governments require the public to wear a face covering during a public health emergency? More than a century has passed since face mask regulations proliferated in U.S. cities during the 1918-1919 pandemic flu. Face mask ordinances, where they existed, could be enforced with summonses and fines, with municipal judges holding what journalists called a “flu court,” in which a citizen could challenge the citation and hope to avoid a fine. Only a few reported court decisions (and none of the federal courts) date from this period. But usually, judges have adjourned state and local elected officials on orders on face masks, as well as the decision to close stores and schools and prevent public gatherings. State and local governments really do have pretty broad powers, especially in a public health emergency like this, to issue emergency orders. However, we see some potential legal issues with respect to how these orders are accepted, whether they follow the right political process, whether the right part of government issues the orders. And then we also see legal challenges arguing that these orders violate individual rights. The national obligation to wear a mask was lifted on 02.06.21.
Local governments and businesses can choose to continue to require masks. Any employer who allows fully vaccinated employees to work mask-free in non-public indoor spaces must verify employees` vaccination status. Immunization status can be verified using the following evidence: immunization record or photo of immunization record, health care provider documentation, government immunization system record, or employee self-certification document. Employers are not required to offer self-certification as a verification option. Employers are not required to keep a copy of employees` immunization records. People aged 12+ who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a face covering when entering or in an indoor area where members of different households are present. Anyone who is fully vaccinated can do without any type of face covering in any environment. Medical face coverings are mandatory for unvaccinated individuals in certain high-risk settings. From 05.04.21, the obligation to wear a mask has been converted into a mask recommendation. Masks remain mandatory in schools, some health facilities and some government sites.
Otherwise, individuals are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. NOTE: At least one Alaskan city may have face covering regulations for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for more information about your particular jurisdiction. Employers must require an employee who cannot wear a mask due to the applicability of an exemption to wear a face shield. The employer may conclude that the use of face shields without face masks is not appropriate in some environments due to other infection control concerns. Gov. Phil Murphy lifted New Jersey`s general order to cover his face on May 28. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended in crowded indoor spaces and is mandatory for people over 2 years of age in “high-risk” areas such as schools, daycares, health facilities, homeless shelters, prisons and public transport.
Several cities and towns, including Newark and Paterson, require masks to be worn in indoor public places. All people must wear a mask in indoor public spaces. Businesses can set stricter rules, including mandatory masks outdoors and proof of vaccination, to enter the facility. Companies can exclude individuals who do not comply with district health orders and take appropriate employment action against employees who put themselves or others at risk due to non-compliance. Florida recommends, but has not requested the wearing of face coverings for the general public. Several cities and major counties, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough (including Tampa), had mandatory masks, but Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on May 3 that prevented local governments and school systems from imposing COVID-19 restrictions, including mask rules. The CDC requires people over the age of 2 to wear a mask on a conveyance (plane, train, vehicle, boat) and in a transportation hub (airport, bus station, seaport, etc.). Carriers arriving at or departing from a U.S. port of entry must require travelers to wear masks. Private means of transport for non-commercial use, commercial motor vehicles, military means of transport are excluded.
The definition of mask does not include face protection. All people over the age of 2 should wear a face covering in indoor public spaces.