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Learn about the latest mask requirements for Washington State on our Masking guidance page.

Starting June 30, the State of Washington is removing most COVID-19 restrictions. This means that most businesses and organizations may choose to operate as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements. Any organization or business may also choose to maintain capacity limits or physical distancing to protect those who are not fully protected by vaccines. Mask requirements will follow the state health order.

For more information from the Department of Health, visit their FAQs on reopening.

Open sign on store being placed in window

What this means

For Businesses and Organizations

If two or more employees develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period, Washington State requires all employers to self-report this information to Public Health:

Report COVID-19 cases to Public Health

Guidance to protect staff and visitors from COVID-19

All businesses and organizations can support a safe re-opening. Follow Washington state guidance to protect your employees and customers, with proper indoor air ventilation, vaccination efforts, and mask guidelines. All businesses and organizations are required to post signs explaining their mask policy.

All unvaccinated employees and customers are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, with reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities, as described in the State Health Order on Face Coverings. Any organization may choose to require all customers and employees to wear masks.

Fully vaccinated employees are not required to wear a mask or physically distance at work, unless their employer requires it. Washington Labor & Industries requires employers to verify that employees are fully vaccinated. Public Health also recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public settings like grocery, retail, theaters, and entertainment establishments.

Available resources for small and midsize employers

The Small Business Flex Fund offers loans up to $150,000 for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Small businesses in unincorporated King County with 30 or fewer employees can apply for grants of up to $25,000 through the Small Business Assistance Program, to help them recover from the effects of COVID-19. Businesses, non-profits, and organizations with fewer than 500 employees can claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.

Culturally and linguistically relevant help is available in-language for small businesses and nonprofits looking to find and apply for resources, access translation assistance, plan for recovery and safe re-opening, and more.

For You

COVID-19 is still present in our communities. The best protection is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. It's free, safe and effective. Visit our website for community vaccination sites (updated frequently): www.kingcounty.gov/vaccine

Effective June 29, 2021
Where you are required to wear a mask and keep physical distancing:
Location


Fully Vaccinated
(two weeks after completing vaccine series)
Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated

Crowded outdoor public places (outdoor events, busy streets or trails)  
(when six feet distance can't be maintained)
Indoor public places, in general  
Indoor public places where business owners request or require a mask policy for everyone
All hospitals, long-term care, doctor's offices, testing/vaccination sites, correctional facilities, homeless service sites, schools and childcare, or on public transportation

Fully vaccinated people may continue to wear masks if they choose and Public Health – Seattle & King County is recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public settings like grocery, retail, theaters and entertainment establishments. Not everyone has been vaccinated yet, including more than 300,000 children and some people with medical conditions, so everyone should continue to follow state masking guidelines as well as CDC travel guidelines.

For Large Events (10,000+ participants)

Vaccine verification and negative testing is recommended but not required for large indoor and outdoor events, like concerts, conventions, and sporting events. There are no capacity limitations or physical distancing requirements for outdoor events.

Large indoor events will run at up to 75% capacity. If an event requires proof of vaccination by all attending participants, they may resume activities at full capacity with no physical distancing required. Attendees must follow current masking requirements.

Going Forward

King County and Washington state will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination and infection rates, as well as review and reevaluate guidelines and restrictions. If cases rise significantly and create a public health concern, reopening plans may be updated as necessary.


Reopening Frequently Asked Questions

There are no restrictions on the number of people who can be in businesses and other public spaces such as restaurants, grocery stores, shops, theaters, and museums. And social distancing requirements are no longer in place. However, individual businesses can choose to maintain these restrictions. 

It will be useful to keep a mask with you when you leave home.

  • People who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings when they enter indoor public spaces, according to state guidance.
  • Fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks in many settings. However, Public Health – Seattle & King County is recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public settings like grocery, retail, theaters, and entertainment establishments. COVID-19 transmission is increasing largely due to a corresponding increase in activities, and the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. Masking in high-risk indoor public settings helps to protect everyone, including those that currently aren't able to be protected by the vaccine such as children under twelve, and those who are immune suppressed.
  • Businesses are allowed to request or require their customers and employees to wear masks.
  • Everyone must continue to wear a mask in hospitals and other health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless services sites, schools and childcare settings, and on public transportation. Long-term care facilities continue to operate under separate guidance.

Yes, any business or organization can require people to wear masks but must make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities, as described in the State Health Order on Face Coverings. Masks protect children, people with medical conditions and those who are unvaccinated. They also provide an extra layer of protection for people who are vaccinated.

All businesses and organizations are required to post signs explaining their mask policy. All unvaccinated employees and customers are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

To protect employees, customers and visitors, certain protective measures remain important , even if they are not required. COVID-19 is still with us and the virus spreads through the air.

  • Workers and customers who have not been vaccinated must wear a mask.
  • Create an environment where masks are welcome (if not required).
  • Improve indoor air ventilation and filtration (guidance available at Improving Indoor Air).
  • Encourage employees to get vaccinated and tested as needed. Consider providing onsite vaccinations for employees.
  • Continue to encourage outdoor gatherings when possible.

As always, hand washing is a good way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

According to the Department of Health, businesses and organizations with indoor public spaces are required to post signs explaining their mask policy. They can:

  • assume that unmasked people are fully vaccinated
  • choose to ask unmasked customers and visitors for proof of vaccination, but this is not required
  • ask everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status

All unvaccinated employees and customers are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

Yes, but you must make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities or who can't be vaccinated. If employers plan to allow fully vaccinated employees to work without masks, employees must show proof of vaccination, according to guidance from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries.

Acceptable types of documentation include:

  • CDC vaccination card
  • photo of the vaccination card
  • documentation from a health care provider
  • a signed statement from the worker or customer

View additional guidance on face coverings for businesses from the Department of Health.

No. The requirements for restaurants are the same as those for other retail establishments.

No. The requirements for religious organizations are the same as those for other businesses and organizations. Visit our Faith-Based Organizations page for more details on how to reopen safely.

Indoor events with more than 10,000 people will be limited to 75 percent capacity. If proof of full vaccination has been required for admission, then there are no capacity restrictions. There will be no physical distancing requirements, and attendees must follow current masking requirements.

For information or questions about large events, please contact Washington State Department of Health.

Capacity and social distancing requirements have been eliminated in these settings for customers/visitors, but anyone who has not been vaccinated must continue to wear a mask.

All organizations are allowed to implement vaccinated and unvaccinated sections in their facilities. For large indoor events with 10,000 or more participants, having vaccinated sections will not allow events to go above the 75% capacity restriction. (For example, you cannot limit capacity at 75% for unvaccinated sections and allow 100% capacity in vaccinated sections.)

If an organization wants to create vaccinated and unvaccinated sections, they should require social distancing and wearing masks in the unvaccinated sections, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting continue to be important for reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Cleaning high touch surfaces, encouraging frequent hand-washing for employees, providing hand sanitizer to customers, and maintaining plexiglass or other barriers to block droplets from sneezes and coughs will continue to reduce illness among customers and employees. Refer to Washington Department of Labor & Industries COVID-19 Prevention in the Workplace requirements and guidance for instructions on reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.


Do you have a question that's not listed here?

For answers to additional questions, please see the Washington State Department of Health FAQ on re-opening and FAQ on face coverings.


Link/share our site at kingcounty.gov/safereopen