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City of Raleigh to Require Face Coverings

COVID-19 Resource Center ,

In an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the City of Raleigh’s State of Emergency now includes the mandatory use of face coverings within the City.

Read the full declaration

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers from the City of Raleigh

When will this requirement take effect?

June 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Who must wear a mask or face covering?

Except for the exceptions established in the declaration, all persons in the City of Raleigh are required to wear a clean face covering any time they are, or will be, in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance or where recommended social distancing practices are not being followed.

These places include, but are not limited to:

  • grocery stores
  • pharmacies
  • business locations
  • parking lots and sidewalks
  • public transit

When is a face covering not required?

  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
  • For children under 12 years old.
  • For restaurant patrons while they are dining.
  • In individual, private offices.
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as when receiving dental care or swimming.
  • While with members of a family or the same household

What is a face covering?

A face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

Acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include: bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade face coverings, scarves, or tightly woven fabric such as cotton t-shirts and some types of towels.

Do I need to practice social distancing if I wear a cloth face covering?

Yes. While wearing the face covering, it is essential to still maintain social distance as much as possible since social distancing is the best defense against the spread of the COVID-19. 

What are the objectives of requiring face coverings?

The mandate’s goal is to protect the public health by increasing the use of masks. The declaration will be supported through education and public awareness.

City of Raleigh law enforcement, public safety, and emergency management personnel will educate and encourage voluntary compliance with this order.

I own a business. How does this requirement affect me?

All restaurant, personal care, grooming, tattoo, and retail employees and staff are required to wear a face covering while on duty. It is recommended that all businesses require customers to wear a face covering while inside the business.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please click here if you have questions not addressed in this list.