These Are the Places You Can Get in Trouble for Wearing a Mask

If you're wearing a face mask in any of these places, don't be surprised if you're shown the door.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have officially recommended the use of cloth masks as a means of protection against coronavirus outside of the home, with many businesses going so far as to refuse service to anyone who won't wear one. However, that doesn't mean you can wear that face covering everywhere you go. With the help of legal experts, we've rounded up four places you can't wear face masks—and may get in trouble if you try. And if you want to know where those masks are more than a mere suggestion, check out these 7 States Where You're Breaking the Law if You Don't Wear a Face Mask.


man in courtroom in front of judge

While busy courtrooms may seem like prime territory for the spread of coronavirus, some court proceedings are requiring those involved to leave their faces uncovered. According to a June 10 report in The New York Times, some jurors in Portland, Oregon have been asked to remove their masks for questioning, while other jurisdictions have required either accusers or defendants to remove their masks for court proceedings. But don't even think of leaving the house without a mask if you live in any of The 10 States With the Strictest Face Mask Laws.


white man depositing cash in bank
Shutterstock/New Africa

If you're going to cash that check, you may want to remove your mask before you head up to the teller's window. According to The New York Times, Brian P. Brooks, acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has said that allowing mask-wearing in banks could increase the likelihood of those institutions getting robbed.

Per a report from the Miami Herald, some banks—including Florida-based City National Bank—can ask patrons to remove their masks to conduct transactions as they see fit. And according to legal experts, they have every right to do so. "Banks are private property and can remove people for any lawful reason, including if they are wearing masks," explains criminal and constitutional law attorney Rajeh A. Saadeh. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

TSA Checkpoints

white woman wearing mask at airport security
Shutterstock/Boyan Dimitrov

You'd be wise to keep your mask secured in a crowded airport, but you could find yourself in hot water if you keep it on while going through security.

According to the TSA, masks must be removed to verify a passenger's identity at screening checkpoints. "It's safe to assume that anytime you're asked to present a form of photo identification, you will likely be required to remove your face mask to confirm your identity," adds Lauren Blair, a lawyer specializing in family law, commercial litigation, and employment law counseling and litigation.

Your Car

couple wearing face masks in car

Wearing a mask in your car probably isn't necessary if you're driving alone—and covering your face while driving could lead to more trouble than you anticipated.

"Police officers can pull over drivers for wearing a mask as long as there is a legitimate, articulable safety concern," says Saadeh. This might be cause for a traffic stop if the mask appears to impair a driver's ability to maneuver their vehicle safely, as was likely the case in a recent crash in New Jersey. According to a statement from the Lincoln Park, New Jersey Police Department regarding a one-car accident in April, police believe that the driver's decision to wear an N95 mask behind the wheel may have been a contributing factor in the crash. And if you want to stay safe on the road, make sure you know these 7 Mistakes You're Making Every Time You Get in Your Car.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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