Will the Police Cite me for Not Wearing a Mask When Shopping?



Covid-19 has brought about many changes. One of the newest additions to our lives is the wearing of face masks while in public.

Why are Face Masks Required in California

The hope is that wearing masks will slow the spread of the virus. The idea is that the masks keep the droplets contained to a single person. California lawmakers are urging residents to wear a mask whenever they’re shopping.

The problem is that there is conflicting information regarding the effectiveness of face masks. The result of the conflict is that while some people happily don a mask each time they go out, others refuse to wear them.
The debate over wearing face masks has led many people to wonder if the police will issue citations to those who don’t wear a mask while shopping.

When are Face Masks Required

According to the State of California, masks should be worn whenever:

  • You’re in an indoor public area
  • You’re obtaining medical services, such as dental appointments and donating blood
  • You’re using some form of public transportation, in a taxi, or utilizing a rideshare program
  • When you’re in an area that is heavily used by multiple people
  • Interacting directly with people

Many California cities and counties have created additional laws that pertain to face masks

Will the Police Cite you for Not Wearing a Mask While Shopping

People who are good about wearing a mask whenever they’re out and about don’t worry about police citations while they’re shopping. Those who don’t can’t stop wondering if they can issue a ticket for failing to cover the face. There were some counties that took a much firmer stance. Not only did they tell their local officers that they should issue citations to anyone who wasn’t wearing a mask, but they also attached a fine to the citation. Riverside County was one such place that decided that failing to wear a mask while shopping could result in a $1,000 fine.

The sheer number of people who were neglecting to wear a mask while shopping combined with reports of people getting verbally attacked when they asked someone to put a mask on has resulted in Governor Gavin Newsom has tightened up on the issue of masks.

He recently issued this statement. “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands, and practicing physical distancing.”-Los Angeles Times

Newson’s recent changes. At this point, it’s likely that the police won’t hand out many citations to those who fail to wear a mask while shopping, they feel that their services are needed elsewhere. That could change if the daily number of new cases starts to rapidly increase.