All San Francisco residents and workers will soon be required to wear face coverings at grocery stores, medical offices and other essential businesses and on public transit as part of the city's increasingly aggressive efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Face coverings will also be required while waiting in line for any essential service, and while waiting for public transit.
The order, which Mayor London Breed announced Friday afternoon, takes effect at 11:59 p.m. — but enforcement won't begin until 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. The move falls in line with a growing number of Bay Area cities and counties that have recently announced similar measures.
"Any time you're indoors or within close proximity of others within an essential business or at work ... you will be required to wear a mask," Breed said during her Friday afternoon briefing.
She stressed that the order does not replace the city's existing requirements to shelter in place and maintain physical distancing, and said San Franciscans should expect face coverings to be the "new normal" for the foreseeable future.
"It's just an additional requirement, an additional layer, that is necessary to help us flatten the curve," Breed said, noting that officials were working to distribute masks to the most vulnerable residents. "We want to make sure that people know our goal isn't to enforce until April 22nd to give people who may not have access to face coverings the opportunity to get access to them."