Mask Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the Mask Ordinance that went into effect on August 12, 2020. 

Index of questions found on this page: 

When did the mask ordinance go into effect?

The ordinance went into effect on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 9:00pm.

When will the mask ordinance expire?

This ordinance shall continue in effect until rescinded by the action of the Council.

Why is this ordinance necessary?

The purpose of this ordinance is to reduce the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus; reduce the potential shutdown of the local economy and the negative impacts associated with such a shutdown; and potentially reduce the need for hospitalization and the number of fatalities.

Is this ordinance just for downtown Lebanon?

No. This ordinance applies to all of the City of Lebanon, including West Lebanon.

How will this ordinance be enforced?

Education will be the first step in enforcement. We will work to educate any violators of the ordinance before pursuing further action. Failure to comply with this ordinance can result in a first offense fine of $100 and a second or subsequent offense will be a $250 fine.

What defines a mask/face covering?

A covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes or exhalation air valves, that covers the nose, mouth, and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made or homemade and improvised from ordinary household materials. 

How do I properly wear a mask or face covering?

For information on how to properly wear a mask or face covering, please review the CDC’s How to wear cloth face coverings page.

How do masks prevent the spread of COVID-19?

For information on how masks prevent the spread of COVID-19, please review the CDC’s About Masks section. 

If I wear a mask, do I still have to social distance?

Yes, social distancing should always be practiced, and masks are not a substitute for social distancing. Masks act as an additional layer of protection in slowing the spread of the virus. 

Do I need to wear a mask every time I go outside?

No. However, you are strongly encouraged to wear a face-covering to the fullest extent practicable, especially when there is a high likelihood of coming into contact with others and social distancing of at least six feet may not be possible.

Exceptions to the above:

  • Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from, any business, governmental or non-profit owned premises including without limitation any outdoor area where business of any sort is conducted, worksite, workplace, or government building
  • Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from a restaurant or an establishment serving alcoholic beverages for the purpose of picking up food for take-out or any other purpose
  • Residents, visitors, and members of the public entering a residential or commercial building complex of greater than two units

When should masks be worn?

  • Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from, any business, governmental or non-profit owned premises including without limitation any outdoor area where business of any sort is conducted, worksite, workplace, or government building
  • Persons traveling on public transportation such as Advance Transit buses
  • Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from a restaurant or an establishment serving alcoholic beverages for the purpose of picking up food for take-out or any other purpose
  • Members of the public must wear a mask when entering, using, or leaving the restroom of a restaurant
  • Residents, visitors, and members of the public entering or present at a residential or commercial building complex of greater than two (2) units must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in common areas and communal spaces when social distancing of at least six feet from non-household members is not practiced.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged but not required on the Mascoma Greenway, the Northern Rail Trail, sidewalks and other pedestrian public ways, or public recreational lands

Do children have to wear masks?

This order does not require children under 10 years of age to wear face-covering (parents should make their own judgment). Face covering is not recommended for children less than 2 years of age.

Who is exempt from wearing a mask?

This order does not require children under 10 years of age to wear face-covering (parents should make their own judgment). Face covering is not recommended for children less than 2 years of age.

A face covering is also not required to be worn by any person if said person can show a medical professional has advised that wearing a face-covering may pose a risk to said person for health-related reasons.

Do I need a doctor’s note to prove a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask?

Yes. A face covering is not required to be worn by any person if said person can show a medical professional has advised that wearing a face-covering may pose a risk to said person for health-related reasons.

Do I have to wear a mask inside a store?

Yes. Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from, any business, governmental or non-profit owned premises including without limitation any outdoor area where business of any sort is conducted, worksite, workplace, or government building.

A person may temporarily remove their mask when in a business if obtaining a service or product that requires verification of the person’s identity or age.

Do I have to wear a mask at work?

Employees of all businesses shall wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when interacting with the public and whenever they are within six feet of a customer or any co-worker who is not a member of the same household.

Are businesses exempt in wearing masks if they choose?

No. Employees of all businesses shall wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when interacting with the public and whenever they are within six feet of a customer or any co-worker who is not a member of the same household. 

I am an employer. Where can I get masks for my employees?

Employers can order face masks through any supplier. 

One available resource can be found here: Mask Order Form for Businesses

I am a business owner/manager. How do I notify customers of this ordinance?

It is recommended that businesses place signs on entrances to notify customers/visitors of the mask requirement. The City encourages businesses and organizations to print the following signage for use at their locations. 

Do I have to wear a mask when on the Mascoma Greenway, Northern Rail Trail, sidewalks and other pedestrian public ways, or public recreational lands?

Members of the public are strongly encouraged but not required to wear a face-covering to the fullest extent practicable and especially when there is a high likelihood of coming into contact with others and social distancing of at least six feet may not be possible.

Do I need to wear a mask when riding on Advance Transit?

Members of the public must wear a face covering, such as a fabric mask, scarf, or bandana over their nose and mouth while traveling on public transportation. Please review the Advance Transit Mask Use page for further details.

Do I need to wear a mask inside if I live in an apartment building?

Residents, visitors, and members of the public entering or present at a residential or commercial building complex of greater than two (2) units must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in common areas and communal spaces when social distancing of at least six feet from non-household members is not practiced.

Do I need to wear a face covering or mask in a restaurant or bar?

Members of the public entering or queued to enter; remaining in or exiting from a restaurant or an establishment serving alcoholic beverages for the purpose of picking up food for take-out or any other purpose must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose. Members of the public dining indoors or outdoors at a restaurant may remove face-covering while seated at their table. Members of the public must wear a mask when entering, using, or leaving the restroom of a restaurant.

Are people required to wear masks on my property if they are not part of my household?

Property owners shall have the authority to regulate the requirement to wear masks by any person, while on the premises of their property, by allowing persons to temporarily remove their masks while remaining on the premises when it is practical or becomes necessary to do so based upon the requirements of the services provided.