DoD officials update masking mandate
on military installations in COVID-19 fight


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2021) – Effective immediately, all individuals on military installations, as defined below, and all individuals performing official duties on behalf of the Department of Defense from any location other than the individual's home, including outdoor shared spaces, will wear masks in accordance with the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, DoD officials announced.

Individuals must wear masks continuously while on military installations except:

  • when an individual is alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls with a closed door;

  • for brief periods of time when eating and drinking while maintaining distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and instructions from commanders and supervisors;

  • when the mask is required to be lowered briefly for identification or security purposes; and

  • when necessary to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability.


Individuals must consistently wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth and that comports with all current guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Locations where masks must be worn include any common areas or shared workspaces (including open floorplan office spaces, cubicle embankments, and conference rooms) and in outdoor shared spaces.

Masks recommended by the CDC include non-medical disposable masks, masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton), masks made with tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source), masks with two or three layers, and masks with inner filter pockets. Novelty or non-protective masks, masks with ventilation valves, or face shields are not authorized as a substitute. Masks must fit properly (i.e., snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face).

All individuals on military installations and all individuals performing official duties on behalf of the DoD from any location other than the individual's home will follow CDC guidance and practice physical distancing, specifically by staying at least six feet (about two arm lengths) from other people who are not from an individual's household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including by wearing masks, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

To read the complete memorandum, click HERE.