There are Now 16 States with No Face Mask Mandates

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Alaska does not require its residents to wear a face mask when in public but does encourage the practice “whenever social distancing is a challenge.”

However, Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson signed a modified emergency order in November 2020 that requires all people in the city to wear a face covering in public for everyone over the age of 5.


In Arizona, wearing a face mask is not a statewide mandate and is a decision that each county is free to make, according to Gov. Doug Ducey, KIFI, an ABC affiliate out of Idaho Falls, Idaho, reported.

Some municipalities in the state that require face masks include Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the news outlet said.


Florida does not have a statewide mask mandate, but some local municipalities have implemented their own requirement for face coverings.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said about the lifting of the mandate in June 2020 (via Fox News), “ We’re open, we know who we need to protect, most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what’s going on, are just simply much much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups.”


Georgia also does not have a statewide mask mandate but does require some workers to wear them, such as restaurant employees and those that work in the personal care field.

But several counties and cities have issued their own face covering policies, requiring face masks while in public.


No statewide mask mandate is in place in Idaho, but a series of municipalities have implemented their own requirements for face coverings, including the city of Boise, according to AARP.


In February, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds rolled back the face mask mandate that was in place in the state, saying at the time (via KIFI) that “Prior to November, Iowa didn’t have a mask requirement, but most Iowans wore masks, and I am confident they will continue to do so.”

Iowa’s face mask mandate was in place before Thanksgiving 2020, according to an emergency order.


In September, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves eliminated the statewide face mask mandate but reissued an order a month later that required them in counties that had a higher number of COVID cases.

The mandate is in place through March 31 and includes 22 out of 82 counties in Mississippi.


Missouri is another state that does not have a statewide mask mandate but does require face coverings in some local municipalities.

Gov. Mike Parson eased the face mask restriction back in June, KIFI reported, saying, “It is truly incredible to think about how far Missouri has come since March. At that time, no one knew what to expect. There was a lot of uncertainty, worry, and concern.

“Here we are today, just over 90 days since our first COVID-19 case in Missouri, and I am proud to say we have overcome all of these challenges and more than met our four pillars to reopen.”


In February, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte let the statewide face mask mandate lapse but said that local communities could make the decision to enforce their own requirement.

He said at the time that he “will continue to wear a mask” and would “encourage all Montanans to do the same.”


No statewide mask mandate exists in Nebraska, but people that work in and frequent barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors must continue to wear one.

North Dakota

North Dakota let its mask mandate expire in January, and state Gov. Doug Burgum has not reissued a requirement for statewide face coverings since that date, AARP reported.


While no statewide mandate, back in July, Oklahoma issued a requirement for face coverings for indoor places in public places throughout Oklahoma City, according to KIFI.

South Carolina

A statewide mask mandate does not exist in South Carolina currently, but some counties and cities have one, including Charleston and Columbia, KIFI said.

South Dakota

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has not issued a mask mandate for the state throughout the entire COVID pandemic.

Noem has said that she believes that if residents of the state want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so, but they should not be shamed into it.


Tennessee does not have a statewide mask mandate, but counties in the state have the right to issue one, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Bill Lee, KIFI reported.


Texas is the most recent state to life its face mask requirement as Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the mandate would be lifted on March 10, after being in place since July 2020.

He said: “It is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations and from the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed.”

Abbott also allowed businesses to operate at 100% capacity on the same date.