Which states have lifted mask mandates
The nation’s leading health officials announced on Feb. 16 that the U.S. is moving closer to the point that COVID-19 is no longer a "constant crisis" as more cities, businesses and sports venues began lifting pandemic restrictions around the country.
As of March 8, three states have indoor mask mandates in place including Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.
Here's mask rules apply in each state:
Gov. Kay Ivey let a statewide mask mandate initiated on July 16, 2020 expire on April 9, 2021.
According to a state government website on COVID-19 information, officials said individuals are "strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people."
Read more information on COVID-19 in Alabama here.
There is currently no statewide mask mandate in "The Last Frontier" state, but the state’s Department of Health and Social Services "strongly encourages the wearing of masks in public."
Residents and visitors in Junea, Alaska’s capital, are required to wear a facial covering indoors following an ordinance enacted in January after health officials raised the city’s COVID-19 risk level to "modified high" amid a rise in cases. On Dec. 8, 2021, Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, ended its indoor mask mandate.
Read the Alaska health department's mask guidance.
On March 25, 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order lifting all statewide COVID-19 restrictions on businesses including a ban on cities and counties enforcing mask mandates except in government buildings and on public transit.
Read Ducey's order ending COVID-19 restrictions.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson ended a statewide mask mandate that spanned eight months on March 31, 2021.
Read the Arkansas health department's mask guidance.
"The Golden State" ended its indoor mask mandate on March 1.
According to the governor's office, unvaccinated individuals will still be required to wear masks in indoor public settings.
Local governments can continue their own indoor masking requirements and earlier this month, Los Angeles County’s health officials said they intend to keep their mask requirements in place beyond the state deadline.
Read California's updated face-covering guidance.
A statewide mask mandate was ended by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on May 14, 2021. However, face coverings are still required on public transit and residential care facilities.
Read the Colorado health department's mask guidance.
Currently, there exists a statewide mask mandate for people who are not vaccinated for the novel coronavirus.
Read Connecticut’s current mask guidance.
Gov. John Carney lifted a universal indoor mask mandate on Feb. 11.
Read Delaware's face-covering guidance.
District of Columbia
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Feb. 14 that the city’s indoor mask mandate will expire on February 28.
Bowser said cases have dropped by more than 90% since the height of the omicron surge and there has been a 95% decline in hospitalizations.
The mayor also said the District’s indoor mask requirements will be dialed back on March 1.
Also, beginning Tuesday, February 15, indoor venues in the District will no longer be required to check vaccine statuses. Businesses may choose whether or not to keep vaccination requirements in place.
Read the District's updated COVID-19 action plan.
There are no mandates for face coverings across "The Sunshine State" but some of the state’s largest cities including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Tampa did enact mask mandates.
However, on May 3, 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order which bans local governments and school systems from imposing COVID-19 restrictions including rules on face coverings.
Read Florida’s order barring local mask mandates.
There is no statewide mask mandate but according to Gov. Brian Kemp and the state Department of Public Health, face coverings are highly "recommended" to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Parents in Georgia may soon be able to opt their children out of school mask mandates.
"We're trying to do the right thing for our parents and for our children and it's past time to do this," said Kemp.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol on Feb. 14, Kemp said Sen. Clint Dixon of Buford, Georgia, had just filed the "Unmask Georgia Students Act."
Under the legislation school boards, administrators, teachers and other school personnel would not be allowed to make or enforce any rule that requires students to wear a face covering, unless parents or guardians can choose for their children to be exempt.
Read the Georgia Department of Public Health's COVID-19 guidance.
Hawaii will lift the nation's last statewide indoor mask mandate by March 26.
Ige said Hawaii's COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations are decreasing. The seven-day new case average is about 140, he said, while a week ago it was more than 300. There were 48 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. He said that's the first time the number has been under 50 since around last summer.
Read Hawaii's mask guidance.
On May 28, 2021, Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order which restored local governments’ authority to determine their own mandates on masks.
Read Idaho's current COVID-19 health guidelines.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier in February that he plans to ease the statewide mask mandate by Feb. 28.
"The intention is to lift the mask mandate in indoor locations by Feb. 28," Pritzker said at a press conference. "Of course, we still have sensitive locations of K-12 schools where we have lots of people who are joined together in smaller spaces, thousands of people interacting in one location at a time, so that's something that will come weeks hence."
Masks won’t be required in grocery stores, restaurants and other gathering points, but they’ll still be required in hospitals, on mass transit and some other settings with vulnerable residents.
The Democratic governor intends to keep the mask mandate in place in public schools — pending the result of a legal challenge in downstate Sangamon County.
Read Illinois' expanded face-covering order.
State health officials say Hoosiers age 8 and up should wear masks in all indoor public settings despite Gov. Eric Holcomb allowing a statewide mask mandate to expire on April 6, 2021. Masks are still required in government buildings, at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites and at K-12 schools.
Read Gov. Eric Holcomb's executive order relaxing mask rules.
Not only did Gov. Kim Reynolds lift the state’s mask order in 2021 but she signed legislation banning local governments from pushing businesses to enact their own mask rules.
Read Iowa's COVID-19 prevention guidance.
Despite Gov. Laura Kelly’s attempts to extend a mask mandate which was implemented on July 3, 2020, Republican lawmakers ended the mandate on April 1, 2021 following an executive order from Kelly trying to keep the rule.
Read the Kansas health department's mask guidance.
A statewide mandate on masks and other COVID-19 restrictions ended on June 11, however people aged 5 and older are still required to wear masks in certain settings.
Read a statement from Gov. Andy Beshear's office on lifting COVID-19 restrictions.
Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted statewide mask mandates on April 27, 2021.
Read Louisiana's mask guidance.
There is no outdoor statewide mask mandate but people are still required to wear facial coverings in some settings including public transportation.
Read Maine's guidance on masks.
A statewide mask mandate was ended on July 1, 2021. But in some of the state’s largest cities like Baltimore and Montgomery, locals are required to wear masks in indoor settings.
Read the Maryland Department of Commerce's face-covering guidance.
A statewide mask mandate was removed on May 29, 2021, but masks are still recommended for people age 5 and older in indoor spaces.
Read Massachusetts' current guidance on face-covering.
Michigan hasn't had statewide mask policies since June 2021. This week, on the tail end of Michigan's fourth COVID surge, the health department said it will withdraw its public health advisory on masking in indoor public settings, including in schools. A bevy of local health departments lifted their mask mandates in schools.
"Based on current conditions, MDHHS is expiring the Public Health Advisory on Masking in Indoor Public Settings, including school settings," read a news release.
The health department still recommends all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, continue wearing face masks in high-risk settings. Homeless shelters, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, jails, and health care sites are all included under that designation.
Read Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's June 17 announcement on rescinding COVID restrictions.
A statewide mask mandate was lifted by Gov. Tim Walz on May 14, 2021, however, masks are still required in schools and childcare settings.
Read the state health department's mask guidance.
A statewide mask mandate expired in March 2021 but the state’s health department still recommends masks for all indoor public gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.
Read Mississippi’s guidance on COVID-19 prevention and masks.
Face masks are recommended by health officials for people age 2 and older but there is no statewide mandate.
Read the Missouri health department's COVID-19 guidance.
There is currently no statewide mandate but cities like Omaha and Lincoln still require face coverings in indoor public spaces.
Read the Nebraska health department's COVID-19 guidance.
Earlier this month, Nevada and its casinos rescinded requirements for people to wear masks in public, joining most other U.S. states lifting restrictions that were imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that he would no longer require face coverings in public places, "effective immediately."
State casino regulators followed with a rule change for casinos.
Watch Sisolak's press conference on lifting the state's mask order.
A statewide mandate expired April 16, 2021 but cities like Nashua and Keene still kept their orders in place.
Read New Hampshire's "Universal Best Practices" on COVID-19 guidance.
Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the state’s mask mandate on May 28, 2021, but health officials still urge the public to wear face coverings in "high-risk areas."
Read New Jersey's COVID-19 guidelines.
In January, New Mexico extended COVID-19 health orders including mask requirements across the state.
In an emergency public health order, New Mexico Department of Health Acting Secretary Dr. David Scrase directed that all individuals ages 2 years and older shall wear a face mask in all indoor public settings except for when eating and drinking.
Any business, establishment or non-profit that members of the public regularly visit must report when there is an occurrence of COVID to the New Mexico Environment Department as well as adhere to the pertinent COVID-Safe Practices. Both public and private education institutions, K-12 and home schools serving children who are not household members shall adhere to the face covering rule and other COVID-Safe Practices requirements for in-person instruction.
Read New Mexico's latest COVID-19 emergency order.
A New York mask mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings, like grocery stores, shops, and offices was lifted on Feb. 10.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul let the mandate lapse as the state emerges from a deadly wave of cases, fueled by the omicron variant.
Face coverings will still be required in schools. The governor said that the rule will be reassessed during the first week of March.
Hochul said infection rates and hospitalizations have declined to a level where it is safe to rescind the order.
"This fight is not over, we’re not surrendering. This is not disarmament," she told reporters at her New York City office, "but again the trends are very, very positive."
A statewide mask mandate was lifted by Gov. Roy Cooper on May 14, 2021 but face coverings are still required in schools and childcare facilities.
Read North Carolina's face-covering guidance.
There hasn’t been a statewide mask mandate since Jan. 18, 2021. However, health officials urge residents to follow CDC mask guidelines.
Read North Carolina’s mask guidance.
A statewide mask mandate expired June 2, 2021 but some precautions remain in place in certain settings including nursing homes and other residential settings.
Read Gov. Mike DeWine's latest COVID-19 health orders.
State officials urge residents to wear masks when necessary but there is no mandate in place.
Read the Oklahoma health department's COVID-19 guidance.
Currently, all Oregonians age 5 and older must wear face coverings in most indoor public spaces and outside where social distance cannot be adhered to but the Oregon Health Authority said its face covering mandate is expected to be lifted by the end of March.
Read Oregon's mask guidance.
There is no statewide mask mandate and on Feb. 16, Philadelphia dropped its vaccine mandate in indoor dining establishments and unveiled a new, multi-tiered system they say will guide decisions on easing - or implementing - restrictions in the future.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced the news in February amid a recent drop in new cases and positivity rates in the city.
Bettigole said the new system, made up of four tiers, will allow officials to use metrics to drive their decisions on COVID-19 restrictions. Those metrics and tiers will also determine when restrictions should go back into place, should numbers worsen.
"I am happy to announce our new COVID Response Levels today," said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. "We know that local rules to fit the local conditions are the best way to protect the communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. I am glad to say that because of the work Philadelphians have done to keep each other safe, we are safer today than we were two months ago when the vaccine mandate for indoor dining was announced."
Read the Pennsylvania health department's COVID-19 guidance.
Mask mandates are still in effect and require everyone to wear a face covering in public places indoors, regardless of vaccination status, according to an order by the territorial Department of Health implemented in July 2021.
Read Puerto Rico's mask order.
Masking up remains a mandatory rule for schools and public transit despite Gov. Dan McKee’s mask and vaccine requirements expiring on Feb. 11, a rule which had been put in place since Dec. 20, 2021.
Read Rhode Island's updated mask guidance.
On May 11, 2021, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order to eliminate existing local face covering rules in several state jurisdictions.
Read the South Carolina health department's guidance on masks and COVID-19.
Health officials urge residents to continue "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission," but no mandate is currently in place.
Read the state health department's COVID-19 guidance.
On Nov. 12, 2021, Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation that severely limited local governments from enacting their own mask mandates. Memphis recently ended a mandate on Oct. 27, 2021.
Read the Tennessee health department's COVID-19 guidance.
Gov. Greg Abbott ended a statewide mask mandate on March 10, 2021 but his recent repeal said residents are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Read Texas’ updated mask order.
A statewide mask mandate ended on April 10, 2021.
Read Utah's mask guidance here.
All mask mandates across the state were lifted on June 15, however, face coverings are still required in some high-risk settings including hospitals and public transportation.
Read the Vermont Department of Health's mask guide here.
The Virginia House of Delegates banned school mask mandates on Feb. 14. The measure already passed the Senate. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office indicated he will sign it and plans to attach an emergency clause letting it take effect immediately.
On his first day in office, Youngkin signed an executive order ending a statewide mask mandate in schools enacted by his predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam.
Youngkin’s order also sought to bar local school systems from imposing mask mandates on their own, but it got bogged down in legal challenges.
Read Virginia's latest COVID-19 guidance.
Gov. Jay Inslee said the state will lift the indoor mask mandate will be lifted on March 21.
This includes restaurants, bars, schools, childcare facilities, gyms, houses of worship and grocery stores. Masks will still be required in health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient and dental offices, long-term care settings and correctional facilities.
Inslee also said starting March 1, vaccine verification for large events will no longer be required.
Read Washington’s current mask guidance.
Gov. Jim Justice ended a statewide mandate on masks on June 20, 2021, but some counties have voted to keep mask rules through the school year.
The Cabell County Board of Education voted earlier in February to expand its universal indoor mask mandate through June 7, the date of the first board meeting after students have finished school for the year, the Herald-Dispatch reported.
Read the state’s current COVID-19 guidance.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate on March 31, 2021. The conservative-leaning court ruled 4-3 that Evers violated state law by unilaterally issuing multiple emergency orders to extend the mandate for months.
Read the Wisconsin health department's mask guidance.
In August 2021, Wyoming chose not to reinstate a statewide mask order or require COVID-19 vaccines
"The issue is not masks, the issue is COVID," said Gov. Mark Gordon last year. "Here’s the thing: We already know what to do. We’ve been through this before."
Gordon imposed a statewide mask mandate in December 2021 and lifted it in March 2021. Even so, mandates can cause some people to resist wearing masks, he said.
"We know that there’s value to masks and we recommend those masks. We also know people have very strong concerns about masks," Gordon said.
Read Wyoming's latest guidance on COVID-19.