People in California must wear face coverings when they are outside of the home, unless one of the exemptions below applies. Read more in the revised CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.
Individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings in the following specific settings:
- Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.
- Persons who are working in an office or in a room alone.
- Persons who are actively eating or drinking provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.
- Persons who are outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.
- Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.
- Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.
- Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
- Persons younger than two years old. These very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Such conditions are rare.
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- 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.
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes within 6 feet of others. You may have the virus and spread it even if you feel well.
To prevent infection, you must cover your nose and mouth when outside your home. So wearing a mask is now required statewide. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of virus into the air. Cloth masks can reduce your exposure to infectious droplets through filtration. It also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others.
Don’t wear your mask under your nose or just on your chin. A mask is only effective if it covers both ways you breathe.