KEY POINTS

  • The wearing of face masks in California may be mandatory as the state looks forward for its re-opening
  • Residents are urged to wear face coverings whenever they venture outside their homes
  • Essential employees are also tasked to do the same 

As California is looking to ease on their COVID-19 stay-at-home orders Friday, the wearing face masks will be an integral part of the residents' wardrobe, making it the “new normal” each and every time they venture out of their homes.

The state's two leaders – Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti – have been very vocal in the wearing of face coverings since the dawn of the COVID-19 outbreak. Last month, Garcetti has ordered all residents to wear face masks when visiting essential businesses as an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

In cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, only a handful are not wearing face coverings. But this will soon change as Governor Newsom's new guidelines require customers and employees of “certain retailers” who are re-opening to don face masks and observe “contact-free transactions.” The same can be said in San Francisco as several stores are urging their patrons to cover their faces, some of which are known to refuse transactions to those who defy the mandate.

Passengers wearing face masks arrive on a flight from Asia at Los Angeles International Airport, California Passengers wearing face masks arrive on a flight from Asia at Los Angeles International Airport, California Photo: AFP / Mark RALSTON

Those who will be traveling via Los Angeles International Airport are also required to wear face masks starting Monday. This too will be observed by residents riding city buses and trains. County supervisor Janice Hahn acknowledged the fact that most essential workers rely on public transportation, which is why drivers and passengers are strongly encouraged to wear such equipment.

Despite the strict order, Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Ray Kelly have cited several residents on non-compliance despite health officials extending the rule to most of San Francisco.

“It's really hard to write someone a ticket when they just lost their job, when they're living through a time of crisis. But if it's egregious, and you've talked yourself into a ticket, then we have no choice,” he said.

California's re-opening will also see trail heads, parks and golf courses opening their gates to their loyal patrons. Bookstores, florists, sporting goods stores and the like will also be allowed to operate provided that they still maintain proper social distancing and infection-control protocols. Hikers and runners are also required to wear face masks, wash their hands throughout the day and observe the mandatory six-feet guideline.