We’ve been told for months now that wearing a protective face covering can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As of Monday, masks aren’t just a good idea in Tuscaloosa. They’re required.

The Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously approved an ordinance mandating face masks in all public spaces within the city June 30.

The ordinance lasts from July 6 to Aug. 5, unless the Tuscaloosa City Council extends it.

But before Monday, many people were asking why wait?

“The first date the ordinance could be published, which is required by state law, was July 6, with the Fourth of July holiday,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said. “I think we were all ready to implement it the next day.”

The most commonly asked question now is where are masks required? The answer is simple, Maddox said.

“Wear your mask if you are in indoor spaces of a venue or to the general public, if you are using transportation services available to the general public, and if you are in an outdoor area open to the general public and you cannot maintain social distancing,” Maddox said. “For example, if you are at your son’s baseball game off by yourself and you have more than 6 feet of distance, you don’t need a mask. But if you are in the bleachers, and people are all together, you will need a face covering.”

The ordinance exempts face masks for children who are 2 or younger. Face masks will also not be required in places of worship, indoor athletic facilities, or situations in which a mask may present a health or safety risk.

In downtown Tuscaloosa on Monday, it appeared most people were abiding by the new mandate.

“The ordinance is good for people who don’t want to wear them,” Tuscaloosa resident Terry Sims said. “I heard it one time, you don’t have to tell me twice. I just hope people abide by it.”

Business owners like Dan Robinson, who owns Cravings, said they will be enforcing the face covering ordinance now in hopes the mandate will help slow the spread of the virus and make way for better days ahead, including a University of Alabama football season.

“We have a lot of independent restaurants and boutiques in Tuscaloosa,” Robinson said. “If we don’t have the money coming in on the weekends, parents coming in, boosters coming in, I truly think that you are going to see a lot of places go out of business from the next six months to a year. You are not hurting yourself by wearing a mask. Suck it up, wear a mask and lets try to get going.”

For more information on the city’s face mask ordinance, you can visit

Categories: COVID-19, Local News