D.C. will impose sweeping new face mask requirements starting this weekend, an executive order Wednesday by the mayor says. Masks also will be required in the entire Metro system, the general manager announced Thursday.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, masks will be required in D.C. whenever anyone is around others for essential business or travel.
Masks or face coverings will be required on all public transit in D.C. This includes Metrorail, Metrobus, Circulator buses and MARC trains. Masks must be worn in stations as well.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said at a board meeting Thursday morning that masks will be required starting Monday in the entire Metro system, including in Maryland and Virginia. Metro previously asked riders to wear masks but it was not a requirement.
In D.C., masks also will be required in taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, such as those used through Uber or Lyft.
Essential businesses must provide workers and contractors with masks and instruct customers to wear them.
The new rules in D.C. go into effect Saturday. They don’t apply to children under age nine, though families are encouraged to put masks on children age two to nine. People experiencing homelessness don’t have to comply, as well as people who cannot wear or remove a mask because of a medical condition or disability.
Masks also will not be required when someone is doing a permitted recreational activity, such as jogging, when social distance can be maintained.
Mayor Muriel Bowser did not speak about the new mask requirements when she announced the executive order Wednesday morning. The order extended the stay-at-home order through June 8.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.