Businesses must now refuse service to customers without masks


OLYMPIA. Wash. — Starting Tuesday, July 7, businesses in Washington state will require all customers and employees to wear a face covering.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman announced the new requirement last week as an extension to a previous order that required face coverings in public throughout the state as of Friday, June 26.

Under the new requirement, businesses must refuse to sell goods or services to customers that do not wear a face covering in inside their building. Inslee issued a proclamation mandating the same requirement of businesses in Yakima County last month.

“We’re doing this because of a spike in cases of COVID-19 all over the state,” Inslee said. “The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shutdown the economy.”

Exemptions to the order include people who are deaf or have hearing loss, those who have medical conditions that preclude them from wearing a mask and children age 5 and younger. In addition, people engaged in recreation alone or with household members and those eating out at restaurants don’t have to wear masks as long as they are properly distanced from others.