Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #74 (the “Order”) on November 19, 2020 mandating the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings in indoor and outdoor public spaces where individuals are unable to or inconsistently maintain a physical distance of six feet from persons outside their own household. The order takes effect on November 19, 2020. Relevant portions of the Order are summarized below:

  • All persons over the age of 5 in the State of New Hampshire are covered by the Order.
  • “Public spaces” includes any part of public or private property that is generally accessible to the public including lobbies, waiting areas, restaurants, retail businesses, streets, beaches, parks, elevators, restrooms, and parking areas.
  • Municipalities are free to enact ordinances which are stricter than the Order.
  • The Order does not override any provision of industry specific guidance related to face coverings referenced in Emergency Order #52.  Where there is a conflict, the industry specific guidance controls.

There are a number of exceptions to the Order.

  • Students and employees of K-12 schools.
  • Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities which prevent the wearing of masks (such individuals will not be required to produce documentation of such illness, disability or breathing issue).
  • Anyone eating or drinking or sitting at a table in a restaurant waiting to eat or drink.
  • Anyone engaged in strenuous physical activity which would include outdoor exercise such as running or cycling or indoor exercise such as playing sports.
  • Individuals giving religious, political, educational, musical or theatrical presentations or performances.
  • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing or are communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing or otherwise have a condition or disability which makes it difficult to communicate while wearing a face covering.
  • Anyone receiving or providing a service which requires the removal of a face covering to provide or receive the service.
  • Individuals asked to remove face coverings to establish identity for a lawful purpose.
  • Public safety workers engaged in their public safety roles when wearing the face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of the individual’s duties.

The order is effective until January 15, 2021 taking us through the holiday and school break seasons.