Washington updates mask rules now that state has reopened
With Washington now fully reopened, the state Department of Health has updated its mask rules.
In essence, don’t leave your mask at home if you’re unvaccinated. Unvaccinated people must wear a mask while indoors with people outside their household. It’s OK to ditch the mask outdoors, except when it’s difficult to social distance, such as at concerts, parades, and sporting events.
Vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask outdoors nor indoors, unless it’s required by an establishment or business.
Masks are required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people when visiting health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, K-12 schools, and transportation hubs.
Children under 2 years old should not wear a mask. Children ages 2-5 should wear a mask with adult supervision when in public settings when around people outside their household.
People with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the state’s mask rules.
People are not required to wear a face coverings in any of the following situations (according to the DOH):
- When outdoors. People who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to wear face coverings in crowded outdoor settings, such as at sporting events, fairs, parades, concerts, and similar settings where there is decreased ability to consistently maintain physical distance between non-household members.
- At a small indoor gathering in a place not generally open to the public that is attended only by people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and by unvaccinated people from a single household in which on one is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- While engaged in indoor training or competition in any type of sport designated by the Department of Health or in outdoor training or competition in any type of sport.
- While swimming or engaged in other water sports or recreation.
- While engaged in the act of eating or drinking.
- While showering, bathing, or engaging in other personal hygiene or grooming activities that require the removal of the face covering.
- When any party to a communication is deaf or hard of hearing and not wearing a face covering is essential to communication.
- While obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering.
- While sleeping.
- When necessary to confirm the person’s identity.
- When federal or state law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires the removal of a face covering.
- When unable to put on a face covering due to an emergency.