Masking Guidance


State Masking Requirement

Effective December 15, 2021, masks are required for all individuals in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status from December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022 (surgical masks or higher-level respirators are recommended). For more information, visit the State's Guidance for Face Coverings.

See the State Health Officer Order, issued on July 26, 2021, for a full list of high-risk congregate and other healthcare settings where surgical masks are required for unvaccinated workers, and recommendations for respirator use for unvaccinated workers in healthcare and long-term care facilities in situations or settings not covered by Cal OSHA ETS or ATD.

Exemptions to mask requirements
The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

CDPH Related Materials:
State Masking Guidance FAQs (revised 12-15-21)
Get the Most Out of Masking
Face Coverings Fact sheet (PDF)