Your vaccination status won’t keep you from needing your mask any more — indoors or outdoors.
Washington state residents must mask up in nearly all indoor public settings, as well as outdoor settings with more than 500 participants, regardless of vaccination status. Local and state officials also strongly recommend masking up in any crowded outdoor area like a busy street, farmers market or concert.
In King County, visitors to sporting venues, bars and restaurants may also be asked to show additional proof of vaccination.
Overlapping mask mandates from both the county and state are in effect in the Seattle area. There’s the indoor mask mandate that Gov. Jay Inslee implemented in August, and the King County mandate from this month that includes indoor and large outdoor gatherings. On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee expanded his mandate to also include outdoor events with more than 500 participants.
Are there any exceptions?
Unless you are actively eating or drinking, King County’s mandate says that everyone ages 5 and older must be wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
In King County, anyone playing or practicing a recreational sport indoors must also mask up (unless there is a chance the mask could catch onto equipment like in gymnastics).
While the King County mandate supersedes the state mandate, Washington state also lists exceptions for people who are actively performing or leading a religious service, bathing, sleeping or other actions that require temporary removal of a mask.
The guidance does not apply to non-public indoor spaces like businesses, offices or private residences. While not required, it’s recommended that children under age 5 also wear a mask.
“There’s no magic number, there’s no science or limit to where the risk appears and disappears,” said King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin in September.
Seattle and King County Public Health also say masking is not necessary when more than 6 feet apart from others outdoors.
Will I have to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask?
In some cases, yes.
Many bars and restaurants the Seattle area have said they cannot afford to shut down again, and are requiring proof of vaccination for entry. AEG, which operates concert venues like Showbox and the Marymoor Park amphitheater, has also said visitors must show proof of vaccination or get tested within 72 hours of a show.
Recently, Seattle sports teams have also announced vaccine or testing requirements for fans. Climate Pledge Arena, which will host Kraken games, has gone a step further and will require masks and proof of vaccination for entry.
How do I prove my vaccination status?
In Washington state, the following are considered acceptable types of verification: