Governor Kay Ivey amended the previously entered Safer at Home health order to mandate the use of face masks or other face coverings as of 5:00 pm on July 16, 2020.
Click here to read the entire Amended Order.
The Order was issued by the Alabama State Health Officer. This Order specifically states that it supersedes and preempts all previously entered Orders issues by County Health Officers any City Ordinances.
When Do I Have To Wear A Mask in Alabama?
The Alabama statewide face mask order says face masks or face coverings that cover the mouth and nose of the wearer at all times when within six feet of a person not from the same household. Homemade masks, bandanas, scarves, or other improvised fabric coverings are acceptable.
According to the mandatory masking order, individuals are required to wear face masks or covering in the following situations:
- In indoor locations that are open to the general public
- When riding in a vehicle operated by a transportation service
- In a public outdoor space where ten (10) or more people are gathered
When Is A Face Mask NOT Required?
There are several exceptions in the Order when a face mask or covering will not be required: (summarized- Click here to read the entire Amended Order)
- Any person age 6 or younger
- Any person with a medical condition of disability that prevents him or hear from wearing a face covering
- Any person while consuming food or drink or seated at a restaurant
- Any person who is obtaining a service that requires remove of the facial covering. (For example: Medical and Dental Procedures)
- Any person who is required to remove the covering to confirm his or her identity such as for security or screening purposes.
- Persons actively engaged in exercise while maintaining six feet of separation.
- Persons participating in athletic activities so long as they are in compliance with specific safety requirements and guidelines
- Persons in a swimming pool, lake, water attraction or similar body of water
- Persons such as the hearing impaired who are unable to effectively communicate with a face covering and persons speaking for broadcast to an audience
- Persons such as first responders when they are unable to perform essential job functions and or when a face covering is inconsistent with safety standards or protocols
- Persons who are voting
- Persons who cannot wear a facial covering because they are actively involved in religious worship
Additional protections for employees and customers.
- The Amended Safer at Home Order also provides additional requirements directing employers to take reasonable steps to protect employees and consumers. These include regular sanitation, encouraging handwashing, distancing and encouraging the use of facial coverings.
How Long Will the Order Last?
The Order takes effect at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, 2020. The Order will remain in effect until 5:00 p.m. on July 31, 2020, unless extended.
How Will the Mask Order be Enforced?
Violation of the Order can be considered a misdemeanor and someone who refuses to follow it could be subject to a citation and fine or even arrest.
Alabama Law to Know: Alabama Code Section 22-1-8
What It Says:
“Any person who violates any of the health or quarantine laws, except those for which a special penalty is prescribed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
This law applies to violations of the Amended Safer at Home Order. Therefore, violating the Alabama Mask Order gives law enforcement the authority to issue a citation or arrest the violator.
Alabama Law to Know: Alabama Code Section 22-3-5(2)
What It Says:
In Alabama, County Health Officers have the legal authority to “institute immediate measures to prevent the spread” of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
County Health Officers work under the direction of and derive their authority from the Alabama State Board of Health.