Wear your mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces
Due to a recent increase in cases, CDPH has mandated that everyone in California wear a mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces. The order is in effect December 15, 2021 to February 15, 2022.
Here are California’s current mask recommendations and requirements.
On this page:
- When to wear a mask
- Upgrade your mask
- Mask-wearing exemptions
- Masking at work
- Guidance for businesses
- Questions and answers
When to wear a mask
These are the statewide guidelines for masks. Your local area may have more. Check your area’s COVID-19 website.
- Indoor public spaces (until February 15, 2022)
- Workplaces (until February 15, 2022)
- Public transit
- Healthcare settings (including long term care facilities)
- Adult and senior care facilities
- Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
- Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers
- Places of worship
Upgrade your mask
When cases are on the rise or your risk is higher, increase your protection by upgrading your mask.
- Double mask
- Fitted surgical mask
- Surgical mask
- Cloth mask with 3 or more layers
Whatever mask you wear, make sure it fits to your face closely and without gaps.
Read Get the Most out of Masking to learn how a mask can best protect you.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:
- Children under two years old, due to the risk of suffocation.
- People with:
- A medical condition,
- Mental health condition, or
- Disability that precludes wearing a mask. This includes:
- Those for whom a mask could obstruct breathing
- Who are unconscious or incapacitated
- Unable to remove a mask without assistance
- People for whom seeing the mouth is essential for communication:
- Hearing impaired, or
- Those communicating with a person who is hearing impaired.
- People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk as they work, as determined by:
- Local, state, or federal regulators, or
- Workplace safety guidelines.
See complete mask exemptions details at CDPH’s Guidance for the Use of Face Masks.
Masking at work
- Masks are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks are not required outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status. Workers should be trained for outdoor use of face coverings.
- Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with NIOSH-certified respirator masks for voluntary use when:
- Working indoors, or
- In a vehicle with others.
- Unvaccinated workers must wear masks in state offices.
For more information, see Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), the state public health officer order of July 26, 2021, and CalHR’s Vaccine Verification and Testing Requirements.
Guidance for businesses
Masks are required to be worn indoors by all employees and patrons. This is in effect until February 15, 2022.
This mask requirement applies to all workplaces, regardless of whether or not they serve the public, or are open to the public.