Masks should comply with the United States Center for Disease Control’s recommended guidance

A growing number of municipalities in Maine are mandating face mask usage as a tool in the fight to control the dramatic escalation in covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. On January 24, South Portland will join Portland, Brunswick, Freeport, and Bath – all of which already have mask mandates on the books. Violations could cost businesses or individuals up to $500.

Masks should comply with the United States Center for Disease Control’s recommended guidance. KN95 masks, N95 respirators, or other masks that fit snugly around the nose and chin, have multiple layers and/or inner filter pockets, and other masks that do not let light through when held up to a light source are required.

Do NOT wear masks with:

  • Gaps around the sides of the face or nose;
  • Exhalation valves, vents, or other openings;
  • Single-layer fabric or those made of thin fabric that don’t block light;
  • Wet or dirty material

Ways to have better fit and extra protection with cloth and disposable masks:

  • Wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top)
  • Combine either a cloth mask or disposable mask with a fitter or brace
  • Knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask where they join the edge of the mask
  • Use masks that attach behind the neck and head with either elastic bands or ties (instead of ear loops)

South Portland’s mandate applies to any building or portion of a building that is regularly accessible to the general public. It does not include private residences or residential units, nor does it include public pre-school or K through 12 school buildings. It also includes buses, trains, taxis, ride shares, vehicles for hire, or any other ride services within the City of South Portland.

The mandate does not apply to any person under the age of two, anyone with a medical or disabling condition that is complicated or irritated by a facial covering, or anyone with difficulty breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance. A person alone in a public building is also not required to wear a face covering if they remain alone.