Milwaukee’s Mask Ordinance

July 23, 2020

The Ordinance:

On July 14, 2020, the City of Milwaukee passed an ordinance requiring the wearing of masks in the City of Milwaukee.  The ordinance went into effect on Thursday, July 16 and has two main requirements:

  • Masks must be worn in all buildings open to the public.
  • Masks must be worn outside in a public place when within 6 feet of another person.

A mask is defined as, “a protective mask covering the nose and mouth, including cloth face coverings or surgical masks as described by the centers for disease control and prevention.”  The ordinance makes exceptions for people who cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons, cannot communicate through a mask, and people with religious beliefs that prevent them from wearing a mask.  In addition, a mask is not required when eating or drinking.

The City of Milwaukee Department of Health is responsible for enforcing the ordinance.  The ordinance states that individuals are discouraged from reporting violations and instead are encouraged to focus on their own efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.  The DOH will focus its efforts on businesses that are not in compliance.

If a business is found non-compliant, the DOH will use stepped enforcement beginning with education and escalating to a fine of as much as $500.00.