Face Covering FAQs
- When will this requirement take effect?
June 19 at 4:00 p.m.
- Does State law allow me to wear a mask to protect health or safety of myself or others?
State law was recently updated to legalize the wearing of masks for public health reasons. G.S. § 14-12.8. Wearing of masks, hoods, etc., on public property was amended to include the following exception effective through August 1, 2020:
- "Any person wearing a mask for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others."
- Who must wear a mask or face covering?
Except for the exceptions established in the declaration, all persons within the Raleigh city limits 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
- 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.
- Do I need to wear a face covering while walking or exercising outdoors?
No, so long as you are able to safely maintain at least six (6) feet distance from others, you do not need to wear a face covering when walking or exercising outdoors.
- Do I need to wear a face covering if I work outdoors?
No, so long as you are able to safely maintain at least six (6) feet distance from others, you do not need to wear a face covering when working outdoors.
- Do children need to wear a face covering?
As outlined in the proclamation and noted above, face coverings are not required for children under 12 years old.
- Do individuals with a medical or behavioral condition need to wear a face covering?
As outlined in the proclamation and noted above, face coverings are not required for those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
- 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.
- Where can I get a face covering?
While cloth face coverings are being sold by a range of retailers and available to purchase online, you can also make them at home from regular household items. CDC has released resources on how to make a face covering from items like bandanas and t-shirts. A video showing the steps is also available.
- Is a face shield an appropriate substitute to a face covering?
A face shield meets the requirements of the order provided that it provides equivalent protection from airborne disease transmission as a full face covering. If the face shield is being worn because the wearer cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons, it is an appropriate substitute.
- Where can I find resources to help my business enforce compliance with safety guidelines?
A toolkit containing social media resources, signage, and templates from Wake County, NC DHHS, and the City of Raleigh is available here.
- Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please click here if you have questions not addressed in this list.