San Francisco has now joined the slew of California cities that require wearing face masks in public. The new law to that end goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 17. Violating the San Francisco face mask rule could result in fines and even jail time.

"Starting today, people in San Francisco are required to wear face coverings at essential businesses, in public facilities, on transit, and while performing essential work," said Mayor London Breed.

She went on to say, "This is not a replacement for staying home and physical distancing, but it is an important step for safety."

The rule officially goes into effect on April 22 at 8 a.m. So, you have until then to make or purchase your face coverings. 

The mayor's release also noted that "noncompliance is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both."

It is important to note that government officials state that children aged under two years old must not wear a face covering, as it is poses a choking hazard.

Children ages three through twelve are not required to wear a face covering. If they do, they must be supervised by an adult at all times.

SF.Gov states that you must wear a protective face covering when you are doing the following:

  • "Waiting in line to go inside a store"
  • "Shopping at a store"
  • "On public transportation (or waiting for it)"
  • "In a taxi or rideshare vehicle"
  • "Seeking healthcare"
  • "Going into facilities allowed to stay open, like government buildings"
  • "Working an essential job that interacts with the public"

Face coverings are not needed you are:

  • "At home"
  • "In your car alone or if you’re only with members of your household"
  • "Exercising outdoors, like walking, hiking, bicycling, or running"

The announcement goes on to say that staying at home is still the best protection. Face covering laws do not change the city's shelter in place order, which is in place until May 15. Nor does it change the six-foot social distancing requirements.

This article has been updated.

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