Memphis mayor says city will no longer enforce mask ordinance

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 1:22 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Masking in Memphis will no longer be mandated. Starting May 15, the city will stop enforcing the mask ordinance.

Mayor Jim Strickland says due to Gov. Bill Lee declaring the state is no longer in a public health emergency and Shelby County Health Department lifting the mask mandate, the city can no longer mandate use.

Strickland says the city does not have “stand-alone authority to mandate masks as a response to COVID-19.”

However, anyone entering City of Memphis facilities, with the exception of parks and outdoor spaces, will still be required to wear a mask.

Masks are still required in these situations:

  • Mass transit (airplanes, trains, buses, ride-shares, etc.).
  • Working or visiting an establishment (business, restaurant, school, etc.) that requires masks and has signs posted that masks are required.
  • Entering property on which a local, state or federal authority has propriety interest and the authority requires masks.
  • Working at an indoor business with regular close contact to people exposed to COVID-19; people who are not vaccinated or may be infected (distribution centers and hubs); or with members of the public not wearing masks and possibly not vaccinated (retail, goods, service workers).

Private businesses and churches can also continue to require the use of masks.

In a statement posted to Twitter Thursday morning, Strickland said, “We strongly encourage everyone to continue masking up when in public, at least until we reach our goal of vaccinating 70% of the Shelby County population.”

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