It’s Official: Masks are required in the city of Atlanta

ATLANTA — She said she would do it in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening she did it. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms followed through on her promise to make masks mandatory in the city of Atlanta.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order Wednesday evening requiring all people to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth within the city of Atlanta in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections.

The order also prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people on city of Atlanta property.

 “We will continue to take active measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 infections in Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Public health experts overwhelmingly agree that wearing a face covering helps slow the spread of this sometimes deadly virus.”

The order calls for all residents and visitors within the territorial jurisdiction of the city of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth. The order also extends to individuals inside commercial entities or other buildings or spaces open to the public, outdoor public spaces, and wherever it is not feasible to maintain appropriate social distancing from another person not in the same household.

The mask requirements will not apply to the following:

  • any person younger than 10 years of age;
  • any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents the wearing of a mask or face covering;
  • any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is smoking;
  • any person while the person is in a personal motor vehicle;
  • any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the mask or face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face or head, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
  • any person while the person is in a swimming pool;
  • any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election; and
  • any person while the person is speaking for broadcast or to an audience.

The order also states that in accordance with the Governor’s June 29, executive order, people who meet criteria for higher risk of severe illness are required to shelter in place within their homes or place of residence and take every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19, except as provided:

  • In accordance with the Governor’s June Executive Order, neither the City of Atlanta or any business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, organization may allow more than 50 persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or be seated within six feet of any person;
  • All gatherings of more than 10 individuals shall be prohibited on City of Atlanta property. Small private gatherings of no more than ten 10 individuals, with appropriate social distancing shall be permitted on City of Atlanta property; and
  • This subsection shall not apply to cohabitating persons outside of their homes, family units or roommates residing together in private homes, persons in the same households, or to any businesses or activities specifically governed by the Governor’s June Executive Order.

The City of Atlanta plans to provide face coverings to the general public through funding under the federal coronavirus relief bill. The face coverings will be available at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, City of Atlanta homeless partners’ facilities and shelters, and food pick up locations.  Atlanta Fire and Rescue will also work with community partners on the distribution of face coverings to Atlanta residents.

View the entire Executive Order online here.

While Atlanta joins the cities of Savannah, Athens and East Point in requiring masks, it is the largest city in Georgia and the largest to require masks.

Under Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive orders, cities are prohibited from imposing restrictions that go beyond those included in the state executive order.

Kemp has yet to challenge any city mask ordinance.



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