City of Columbia Mask Ordinance 9.10.21

What you need to know about the City of Columbia Ordinance:


When will masks be required?

  • Inside all public places in the city limits, including all commercial establishments or establishments open to the public
  • Interacting with others outdoors within six feet of each other
  • Walking in public when it isn’t possible to maintain 6 feet distance from others


How does the mask mandate affect employers?

  • All restaurants, bars, retail shops, barbershops, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies must require their employees to wear a face mask while having face to face interaction with the public.  Each individual employee violation will be a separate offense.  
  • Any owner or manager who operates a business who repeatedly violates the ordinance could be subject to suspension or revocation of their occupancy permit or business license.


Are masks required in schools?  Yes, for children 5 and up and all adults face masks are required indoors in public and private schools and daycares.  In order to be in compliance with the state law passed by the General Assembly this summer, the enforcement of the mask ordinance will be by the city fire marshalls. The ordinance specifically prohibits any public school employees (or other state-funded resources) from enforcing the mask mandate.


When do I not need to wear a mask?

  • In personal vehicles
  • In an enclosed space or when you’re only with members of your household
  • During outdoor physical activity not within six feet of others
  • While eating, drinking or smoking
  • Within religious establishments
  • When a mask causes or aggravates a health condition
  • When a mask would prevent the receipt of personal services


Violating the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $100.