Alexandria Mandates Face Mask Use in Public Starting Oct. 1

Exceptions for eating and drinking, religious practices, and health reasons

Pixabay photo by Juraj Varga

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In an effort to keep residents safe and healthy during the pandemic, the Alexandria City Council has mandated the use of face masks in public spaces beginning Thursday, October 1.

The mandate means that masks will be required in indoor settings as well as outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible.

According to the city ordinance, “COVID-19 is extremely easy to transmit [and] can be transmitted by infected people who show no symptoms. Because people may be infected but asymptomatic, they may unwittingly infect others.”

The ordinance applies to everyone age 10 years and older. It will remain in effect until the Local Declaration of Emergency, issued March 14, expires.

There are exceptions, such as in situations where someone is eating or drinking, following religious practices, or has reasons pertaining to health. In the latter case, individuals will not be required to show documentation of a health condition.

People in violation of the ordnance for the first time will be reminded to wear a mask. WTOP reported that though the ordnance called for a $100 fine for repeat offenders, City Council chose not to impose the penalty.

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