Use of Face Masks

On November 16, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health strengthened the face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside of the home, with limited exceptions. All Irvine residents and visitors must conform to these guidelines with the few exemptions listed below. 

To prevent infection, you must cover your nose and mouth when outside your home. It can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of virus into the air. Cloth masks or face coverings can reduce your exposure to infectious droplets through filtration. It also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others.


Individuals are exempt from wearing masks in the following settings:

  • People in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.
  • People who are working in an office or in a room alone.
  • People who are actively eating or drinking. They should maintain a distance of at least six feet from those not in their  household.
  • People who are outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance from others not in their household. They must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.
  • People who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary..
  • Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.
  • People who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by [other CDPH guidance].

In addition, the following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:

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

Read the full CDPH Guidance here

Additionally, the Irvine City Council has ordered all open businesses to identify and cause all required measures to be implemented as necessary to ensure social distancing and sanitation at each particular business. Businesses must also:

  •  cause their employees and patrons to wear cloth face coverings or face shields in 'compliance with this Order;
  •  cause their employees and patrons to follow social distancing and infection control guidelines published by the CDC and CDPH; and
  •  post signage to advise patrons of social distancing requirements, and of the fact that those requirements are imposed upon Covered Businesses by this Order. 

Read the full Irvine Executive Order here

Read all the latest updates and Executive Orders here