Mayor Expands Mask Requirements

Masks Required on Transit

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A woman sits cross-legged on ground with her back against a brick wall. She is wearing glasses and a hospital mask and holding a book.
A woman wears a mask and reads a book outside the Eastern Market building as she waits to see a physician during the COIVD-19 outbreak, Friday, March 20, 2020.

Masks are required when people are on the streets or using public transportation –anywhere that social distance cannot be maintained, according to the Mayor’s order extending the public health emergency. The order goes into effect Saturday, May 16.

The expansion to mask use was quietly included in the order, issued May 13. It says that residents and visitors to the District should wear masks while they are outside for essential travel, such as going to work or the grocery stores, or if they are working in an indoor space with other people.

Masks are not required for essential travel or exercise when social distance can be maintained, or for kids under 9 years old. Those who cannot wear masks or face coverings due to a medical condition or who cannot remove it without assistance are exempt, as are District residents experiencing homelessness.

Parents are strongly encouraged to have kids aged between 2 and 9 years wear masks.

Masks are also required for passengers on public transit, including Metrorail, buses and MARCH trains as well as in transit stations. They are also required for passengers of taxis and rideshare vehicles.

Masks were already required for essential workers and operators of public transit and rideshare vehicles and suggested by WMATA. The order expands the requirement to passengers of these vehicles as well as transit stations.

You can see the full text of the Mayor’s Order here. Learn more about the District response to Coronavirus by visiting coronavirus.dc.gov