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SF expands face coverings rules to address COVID-19 surge

Everyone over age 9 must wear face coverings when anyone is within 6 feet or might be in the indoor space later. Children 2 to 9 years must wear face coverings if they can.

COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations in San Francisco are increasing. We are requiring face coverings in more situations, so less people get sick.

Coronavirus can be spread even before you feel sick, when you breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. If we all wear face coverings, we protect everyone from getting COVID-19.

Effective date

These new rules take effect at 11:59 pm on July 23, 2020. The health order does not have a set expiration date. 

You must wear face coverings in more situations

Within 6 feet of people you don’t live with, even outside

The new rules include wearing a face covering in cases like:

  • Passing people on the sidewalk
  • Passing people on a hiking trail or outdoor area

When indoors, if others might use the space later, even if you’re alone

The new rules include wearing a face covering:

  • In a common area (elevator, laundry room, break rooms, lobbies, hallways, bathrooms)
  • Working in a cubicle or conference room
  • Working at a desk you share with another person on different days
  • Working around shared equipment

Older children must wear face coverings if they can

Children under 2 should still not wear a face covering. They might suffocate.

Children 2 to 9 years old should try to wear a face covering. You are still allowed to get essential services if your child in this age group cannot wear a face covering. Encourage them to cover their face, so you can protect others in our community. 

Children over age 9 must wear a face covering, like adults do.

If you can’t wear a medical or fabric mask, try other options

You are still required to wear something over your nose and mouth to block droplets. You can use a:

  • Bandana
  • Gaiter
  • Face shield (including with drapes on the bottom edge)

If you will create a safety hazard at work (under established health and safety guidelines) by wearing anything on your face, you do not have to wear it. 

If you have documentation showing a medical professional has told you not to wear a face covering of any kind, you do not have to wear one. The document does not need to explain your medical condition.

See all rules about face coverings

Masks and face coverings for the coronavirus pandemic.