Coronavirus US: which states have repealed the mask mandate?

Only 14 states currently do not have mask mandates statewide, which states are they, what happened in Wisconsin and what doesn't count as a mask?

Coronavirus US: which states have repealed the mask mandate?

Although on his first days in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating that face coverings be worn in all federal buildings, on all federal lands and while travelling.

Now, the CDC has issued a mandate that specifies that Americans must wear a mask that covers both the nose and mouth when travelling on any mode of transport, or within transport hubs or stations. The rule also applies to all workers as well as travellers.

Which states have repealed the mask mandate?

Thursday Wisconsin’s Republican-led Assembly voted 52-42 to repeal a mask mandate, and almost instantly Governor Tony Revers, a Democrat, issued a new one.

"Our fight against this virus isn't over — it's not going away, especially after we see mutations of this virus in our state," Evers said. "Wearing a mask is the most basic thing we can do to keep each other safe."

According to NBC News, Evers said that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he has promised Wisconsinites three things: never to play politics regarding health, to trust science and health experts to guide decision making and to fight to keep residents safe. A Republican challenge to the mandate is being heard in state Supreme Court.

In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, lifted the state’s partial mask mandate on Friday. She also said businesses no longer have to limit the number of customers or enforce social distancing, and no limits remain on the size of public gatherings. The Des Moines Register's editorial board called the move “inexplicable and irresponsible.”

North Dakota’s face-covering rule expired 18 January after about two months in force.

Mississippi’s state wide rule lapsed 30 September, but Governor Tate Reeves has since instituted a partial mask order covering counties with high rates of covid-19 transmission.

State mandates vary in details (for example, exemptions for children range in cut off age from 2 to 12), but generally they tend to require masks in indoor public spaces such as restaurants and stores, on public transit and taxi services and outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Which states do not have mask mandates?

All but 14 states have mandatory mask wearing orders to prevent the spread of covid-19.

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee


How to wear mask properly: CDC guidelines

Included in the CDC new mandate are specifications on what does not count as a mask to comply:

Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose.

Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes).

Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandannas.

Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.

Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through.

Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather).

Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.

Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight).