Where you have to wear masks in Georgia

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Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. But, I have to wear a mask. No, you don’t have to wear a mask. But ...

All this confusion on government and business mask mandates is enough to make you want to stay inside your house during the coronavirus pandemic. But, if you want to venture outside, here’s a guide that will be updated as more details develop, on where you have to wear a mask in Georgia.


Retailers and restaurants

Some of the nation’s biggest and most recognizable brands continue requiring their customers to wear protective masks before entering their establishments and stores.

Beginning Aug. 1, McDonald’s is requiring customers at all U.S. restaurant locations to wear masks.

Beginning Aug. 1, Gap Inc. will require customers to wear masks in its stores beginning Aug. 1. That includes Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix and Janie & Jack stores.

On Friday, July 17, both Lowe’s and Atlanta-based Home Depot announced customers will be required to wear masks. Home Depot’s policy goes into effect on July 22.

Beginning July 21, all Publix customers will be required to wear face coverings.

Beginning Aug. 1, Target and CVS customers will be required to wear masks.

»RELATED: How to wear a face mask

Costco was one of the first big retailers to require wearing masks. Beginning July 20, Walmart and Sam’s Club announced they would require masks at their stores even where there are no local government mandates for masks in public.

Masks are also required before entering a Kohl’s retail store, beginning July 20. Walgreens will also require masks beginning July 20.

Beginning July 22, you will have to wear a mask when entering any Kroger grocery store.

On July 15, Best Buy and Starbucks began requiring consumers nationwide to wear masks.

“For the safety of our customers and employees, we require customers to wear cloth face coverings when visiting our stores,” Verizon announced earlier this month.

Whole Foods also is asking its customers “wear masks while shopping in our stores to protect the health and safety of our team members and communities. Whole Foods Market will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering. Stores will continue to follow local ordinances regarding personal protective equipment.”

Back in May, Apple announced for the retail stores that reopened, “face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own.”

Trader Joe’s is also asking all customers wear masks.

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have reversed course on their respective mask policies, and now say customers are not required to wear them in their stores.

Georgia statewide, cities and counties

On July 15, Gov. Brian Kemp spelled out cities and counties can’t mandate the use of masks, which has triggered a furious reaction from local government officials. Though Kemp’s previous orders have barred local governments from taking more restrictive steps than the state, the rules he signed on Wednesday were the first to explicitly ban cities and counties from requiring the use of masks or other face coverings.

Nonetheless, mandates in these Georgia cities and counties remain in effect, according to Channel 2 Action News, until the courts can figure all this out:

Atlanta — Includes Atlanta’s airport, city parks and other public places. People under 10 and those with medical conditions are exempt. Anyone not wearing a mask at the airport will be asked to leave. Citations, charges with possible jail time or $1,000 fine.

Athens — Everyone over age 10 is required to wear a face mask in public except in personal vehicles and religious establishments, or engaged in outdoor physical activity, drinking, eating, smoking and anyone with a medical condition. Fines between $25 and $100.

Avondale Estates — Masks required inside businesses and outside where social distancing isn’t possible. Not required for children under 10, people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing face coverings, people with medical conditions or while drinking or eating. Warnings, possible civil penalty up to $100.

Brookhaven — Everyone over age 10 is required to wear a face mask when entering a commercial establishment. All employees must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times. Exceptions for working out, eating, drinking, smoking, being inside your car and for those with medical conditions. Up to a $500 fine.

City of South Fulton — Mandate began July 11 for 30 days. All employees and customers at businesses are required to wear masks except children under 10. First offense warning and a $100 fine for each subsequent violation.

College Park — Mandate went into effect July 14. Residents and visitors will be required to wear masks “in all commercial establishments serving the general public - businesses, organizations, municipal buildings or other establishments.

Decatur — Everyone required to wear a mask in public with a few exceptions. $100 penalty.

DeKalb County — Anyone over 8 required to wear a face mask in public. Exemptions for driving; eating and drinking; outdoor exercise if proper social distancing is observed; and underlying medical conditions. Warning for initial violations and a $250 fine for additional violations.

Doraville — Required in public, grocery stores, restaurants and city facilities. Exemptions for places of worship, traveling in a personal vehicle, outdoor activities with social distancing, and medical conditions.

Dunwoody — Masks mandated until at least mid-August for anyone over 10 inside buildings and outside when they cannot social distance. Exceptions for medical conditions, eating or drinking, inside a personal vehicle, in a swimming pool, during physical activity with social distancing and places of worship.

East Point ­— Everyone over age 2 is required to wear a mask in public. Exceptions for working out, eating, drinking, smoking, being inside your car and medical conditions. $75 fine.

Fairburn — Mandate went info effect July 9. Exceptions for health conditions, driving, eating and children under 5. $25 fine.

Hinesville — Required for anyone over age 10 visiting a government building, restaurants or retail stores and taking part in indoor or outdoor activities with groups of five or more where social distancing can’t be maintained. Exceptions for working out, eating, drinking, smoking, being inside your car and medical conditions. Violators will receive a warning and a complimentary mask, then subject to fines up to $1,000.

Rome — Everyone required to wear a mask in public. Exceptions for working out, organized sports, eating, drinking, smoking, being inside your car, home or religious establishment and medical conditions. Fines up to $100.

Savannah — Savannah was the first to implement the mandate in Georgia. $500 fines.

South Fulton — Everyone over 10 to wear masks in public until mid-August. Anyone entering a commercial establishment must wear a mask. All employees interacting with the public must wear masks or the business will face a fine. Exceptions for working out, eating, drinking, smoking, religious institutions, education institutions, being inside your home or car, and medical conditions. Violators will receive a warning and a complimentary mask, then subject to $100 fine.