Raleigh issues emergency order requiring face coverings

June 17, 2020 — Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announces during a press conference that the city will require the use of face coverings or masks within the city of Raleigh.

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s capital city is set to require people wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin signed an emergency proclamation on Wednesday mandating face coverings be worn over the mouth and nose when people come in contact with those who are not members of their household in both public and private spaces where it is not possible to stay at least six feet apart.

All restaurant, personal care, grooming, tattoo and retail employees also must wear face coverings while on duty under the order, set to go into effect Friday at 4 p.m.

Children 12 and under and those with medical or religious exemptions aren’t required to comply.

Anyone in the city who chooses not to wear a mask would not be fined or arrested, but law enforcement officers are “strongly encouraged to educate and encourage voluntary compliance,” the mayor said.

Nearby Durham and Orange counties have both required face coverings, but Baldwin said most of the mayors in the Wake County Mayors Association were not in favor of issuing a county-wide requirement, The News & Observer reported.

She stressed the action only affects the city of Raleigh, the newspaper said.