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Anyone on Department of Defense property is required to wear a cloth face mask when they are unable to properly social distance, according to a memo from Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
The Sunday memo said people should wear cloth masks “when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers.” The new policy is effective immediately.
The guidelines apply to all military personnel, department contractors, civilian employees at the department, family members, and “all other individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities.” It does not apply to service member’s personal residences on military property.
“Exceptions to this requirement may be approved by local commanders or supervisors, and then submitted up the chain of command for situational awareness. Security checkpoints may require the lowering of face covers to verify identification,” the memo said.
The face mask directive follows the Trump administration recommending the public wear nonmedical face coverings when in public. President Trump said the recommendations were voluntary, and he did not plan to wear a mask.